Farmer breaches disease control regulations
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David Anthony, of King Lane, Horton, appeared at Northavon Magistrates Court on Thursday 13 March after failing to obtain a licence to move cattle off his farm premises to a slaughter house.
The purpose of TB movement controls is to prevent the potential spread of the disease and to ensure that animals are tested and are clear of the disease before they are moved between premises. All cattle farmers have to have their herd tested by DEFRA but he did not have the proper facilities on site so the test was delayed and the matter was referred to the local authority. The farm was placed under movement restrictions.
He pleaded not guilty to three counts of breaching the Tuberculosis (England) Order 2007 by moving bovine animals off his premises without the necessary licence claiming he was not aware he needed this paperwork. The offences took place in November 2012 and again in June 2013, after he been advised by South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards of the correct procedure to follow.
The court heard how Anthony was aware he couldn’t move the cattle off his own premises to a neighbouring farm due to the strict regulations so therefore he should have been aware he could not move the cattle off to slaughter without the licence.
Mark Pullin, Strong, Safer Communities Manager at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Animal Health Disease controls are in place to prevent potential outbreaks spreading. Disregard for these controls is taken very seriously by Trading Standards and DEFRA. The actions of a handful of individuals can give the industry a bad name; he blatantly disregarded the rules that apply to all stockholders keeping cattle.
Cllr Claire Young, Chair of Communities Committee, added: “I hope this prosecution sends a clear message to others not to bypass the strict regulations which are in place. They are there to prevent a potential spread of this disease which can be devastating for the agricultural community.”
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