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Father and son jailed for cruelty after 75 farm animals put down




Two farmers have each been sentenced to four months in prison after admitting a string of animal cruelty charges.

 Seventy five animals had to be put down by Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) vets and another 59 were rescued from the Co Down farm.

DARD said the animals were found in various states of emaciation, starvation, illness and immobility, living in an unsuitable environment.

Father and son Stanley Porter snr (80) and Stanley Porter jnr (44) or Ballycloughan Road, Saintfield, were sentenced at Downpatrick Magistrates Court after admitting 10 animal cruelty charges, including causing unnecessary suffering.

Porter jnr wept in the dock as the pair were sentenced to four months in prison and fined £1,250.

They have now been disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years and received a deprivation order for the removal of the animals.

On the orders of the court, a dog was seized from their farm by a dog warden for Down Council yesterday.

Farm inspections found that the animals were not being properly fed and watered and not given dry areas on which to lie. The court heard that the pair had been warned two years ago about the state of their farm by DARD inspectors but had failed to take action.

Porter snr had claimed the animals were “thin but healthy”.

Judge Greg McCourt said it was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty “in these islands”.

In a statement, DARD said that its veterinary staff had carried out a number of welfare inspections on the Porters’ farm after receiving anonymous complaints.

The two men were warned to improve the welfare of their animals.

In spring 2013, DARD veterinary staff twice humanely destroyed animals due to unnecessary suffering. DARD then submitted a file to the PPS.

“Following the court appearance, DARD inspectors conducted further welfare inspections under warrant. They found a number of cattle in various states of emaciation, starvation, illness and immobility living in an unsuitable environment, and as a result 42 were euthanised,” a spokesman said.

“On February 10, when DARD returned to the premises to remove the herd under the deprivation order, they found 33 animals were unfit for transport and therefore had to be humanely destroyed.

However, 59 animals were successfully removed to another farm.”

Danny Gray, head of DARD veterinary service enforcement branch, said: “This was a shocking case of animal neglect and animal suffering. It was also an extremely distressing case for the local inspectors, vets and enforcement officers who had to attend the farm.

“Today’s sentence sends out a clear message that those who neglect animals will be pursued by DARD and punished accordingly. We place a high priority to the welfare of animals and operate a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary,” Mr Gray added.




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