Cattle farmer banned for life from keeping farm animals

A cattle farmer has been banned for life from keeping farm animals after failing to care for his livestock.   

Charles Geoffrey Rogers, 75 of Traboe Farm, Helston has been banned from keeping, owning, dealing in or transporting farm animals for life, given a three-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £6,290 court costs following a prosecution brought by Cornwall Council. 

On the 02 and 17 March 2021 officers from Cornwall Council’s Animal Health Team and a vet from APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) visited the farm.  

They discovered poor conditions on the farm, serious lameness in the herd and found animals that were unacceptably thin. It was also found that mature bulls were held in the same enclosures as female animals which were sexually mature but too young or small to give birth without injury or death.   

Mr Rogers appeared at Truro Magistrates Court on 23 February 2022 and pleaded guilty to the following charges: 

  1. Failure to protect lame cattle from pain and suffering by not providing effective treatment when lameness was severe and clearly visible.  
  2. Failing to provide cattle, that were very thin, with a suitable diet when no forage was available and grazing was very poor. 
  3. Failing to protect from pain, suffering and injury sexually mature but young or undersized females from entire sexually mature males.     

Kevin Hill, prosecuting on behalf of Cornwall Council, told the court that the animals were too wild and dangerous for a full inspection to be carried out but that there was insufficient feed provided for the animals throughout the winter. A number of animals were found to be lame and in discomfort.   

The court heard the cattle were in poor body condition and bulls were left to run with the herd so there was no attempt to control the numbers or protect the young or small females from pain or suffering.  

In mitigation it was said that after so long living the farming life, it was very difficult to stop and a decision to give up farming as a way of life is not an easy one to make. Whilst the potential was there for the young females to come into calf none of them actually did. It was said in court that Mr Rogers has sold or disposed of all of his stock and has now retired.  

The chairman of the bench said the issues were very serious and did take into account the early guilty plea and that the livestock were no longer on the farm.  

Jane Tomlinson, Trading Standards Manager for Cornwall Council, said: “Mr Rogers has shown he was not able to manage the care of his animals, even after considerable advice over a prolonged period of time from APHA, the Council and Farm Cornwall.” 

Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change said: “Where officers find non-compliance or a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, the Council will take formal action to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.” 

 

Story posted 25 February 2022

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