RURAL bosses have leapt to the defence of livestock owners after a farmer was prosecuted for neglecting his duties.
Their statement comes after animal welfare officers found the remains of 17 sheep – including two skeletons – in a field in Bramshall Road, Uttoxeter.
They belonged to illiterate Jonathan Daley, who was handed a nine-month suspended sentence for charges relating to his negligence last week.
Among them were leaving a sheep stranded in mud, leaving 24 carcasses in the field and failing to document the transportation of sheep.
Daly, of 24 Wardle Crescent, Leek, was also ordered to pay £1,578 in court costs.
Now county councillor Mike Lawrence has issued a statement highlighting how cases like Daley’s are ‘extremely rare’ and praising livestock owners’ ‘valuable’ contribution to the economy.
He said: “This is a rare example where our trading standards team has had to prosecute a livestock owner for serious neglect of his animals and his responsibilities.
“We take animal health seriously and while the trading standards team’s main duties are to support businesses and the economy, it will act in cases where the law is broken.
“We know that the vast majority of livestock owners carry out their business responsibly and will fully support this prosecution.
“The case does serve as a reminder that livestock owners need to ensure they are operating properly and responsibly.”
During his hearing, Daly, 40, insisted to magistrates in Stafford that he did care for his sheep properly.
But he claimed he couldn’t always find them because he worked long hours in his second job as a long distance lorry driver and was unable to tend to his animals until after dark.
Daley, of Wardle Crescent, Leek, first came to the attention of the authorities after a dead sheep belonging to him was found lying in a road near a field in Stone.
Two days later, the same officer found the remains of 17 sheep and a cow in a trailer in Uttoxeter.