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Farmer who left sheep carcasses to rot is banned from keeping livestock

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 04, 2012

Councillor Peter Bryant said: 'This was a serious case of neglect'

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A farmer who left rotting sheep carcasses on her farm in Butcombe has been banned from keeping livestock for two years.

Sarah Hill, 55, of Hidden Valley Farm, Winford, pleaded guilty to seven breaches of animal welfare legislation when she appeared at North Somerset Magistrates Court.

North Somerset Council’s Trading Standards team brought the prosecution after reports were received in February about rotting sheep carcasses on her land in Butcombe.

When officers visited they found 13 dead sheep at the site. A further 75 sheep with serious underlying health issues were also discovered.

Hill admitted offences of neglecting her duty of care to the animals on her farm and failing to provide the flock of sheep with sufficient feed. She also admitted failing to care for ill or injured animals without delay and failing to dispose of animal remains promptly, making them accessible to other livestock and wildlife with consequent risk to their health.

Hill was fined £2,015 for the offences, ordered to pay £2,000 in costs and was banned under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 from keeping sheep, goats and cattle for two years.

North Somerset Council’s executive member whose portfolio includes trading standards, Peter Bryant, said: “Our trading standards service aims to help resolve problems but when serious breaches of animal health and welfare standards are identified we will take robust enforcement action. This was a serious case of neglect which had the potential to affect the welfare of neighbouring livestock and businesses.”

Anyone with information of individuals not disposing of animal carcases in the correct manner can contact Trading Standards on 0845 040506 or trading.standards@n-somerset.gov.uk.

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