23 Apr 2012, 9:47 AM
FARMER INJECTS HIS CATTLE WITH SLURRY
A former Young Dairy Farmer of the Year nominee was jailed for three years in the summer of 2001 for injecting his cattle with slurry in order to defraud the State of £20,000 bovine TB compensation. Cornelius Keane (then 38), from Bawnbue, Drimoleague, Co Cork, had pleaded guilty to five sample charges arising from his decision to inject potentially poisonous and harmful material into his 49-strong cattle herd on January 25, 2000, in a bid to obtain TB reactor grants.
Judge AG Murphy warned Keane that his cruelty merited a lifetime ban from farming but that the court did not have the power to impose this censure.
He added that Keane would have received a seven-year rather than three-year prison term but for the fact he acted out of sheer desperation to save his farm and that his wife, Mary, was then pregnant with their fifth child.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that when Department of Agriculture vets inspected Keane's farm after becoming suspicious about his TB test results, they were horrified at what they found.
Supt Veterinary Inspector, John Murray, told the court he found the cattle in severe pain, some of them with "half Gaelic-football-sized swellings" on their necks. These swellings were oozing poisonous puss.
The 37-year-old West Cork farmer pleaded guilty to sample offences, including breaches of the Criminal Damage Act (1991), Bovine TB Order (1989), Diseases of Animals Act (1979) and the Protection of Animals Act (1911).
The court was told Keane injected his cattle on January 25th 2000 with caustic slurry run-off from his milking parlour, a poison calculated to interfere with the accuracy of the Department of Agriculture's normal tuberculin test for TB.
His farm had already been restricted because of TB outbreaks for two years. If it was again confirmed in his herd, he stood to benefit from £21,320 in reactor grants coupled with £980 per month in income-support payments.
Info from: www.independent.ie/national-news/cruel-farmer-jailed-for-bovine-tb-fraud-345351.html
CARMARTHENSHIRE FARMER CONVICTED FOR INTERFERING WITH bTB TEST
In January 2010 a Carmarthenshire farmer, William Organ of Penrhiwdilfa, Gwernogle, was convicted for interfering with bovine TB testing. He admitted 14 offences of injecting grit and other material into the cattle in an attempt to falsify the test results between September 2007 and January 2008. He was fined a total of £12,600 and ordered to pay legal costs of £3,000.
DAIRY HERD, CORNWALL PUT ON MOVEMENT RESTRICTION
January 2010 the largest dairy herd in the west country, Wills Bros Ltd, was put under movement restrictions following the discovery of an inconclusive reactor during a pre-movement TB test. This restriction should have prevented any unlicensed movements onto or off the premises until a second and negative TB test had been obtained at least 60 days after the initial test. However, Defra vet, Cliff Mitchell, noticed an article and photo in the local paper, The Cornish Guardian, showing the Wills family with show results from the National All-Breeds Show at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. This prompted a joint investigation by Defra vets and Cornwall Council's Trading Standard's animal health team. They discovered a range of errors in the herd's records.
EAR TAG FRAID POWYSs
In June 2011, after admitting six offences involving swapping the identities of cattle a Powys farmer, Emyr Jones Evans of Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, near Llanfyllin received a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months for breaching bovine TB regulations. He also had to pay £28,900 in court costs.
COUNTY FERMANAGH - INTERFERENCE WITH TEST
Stephen Crawford, a County Fermanagh farmer failed to get consent for a judicial review from the Department of Agriculture after he had failed to be paid for pedigree Limousin killed following bovine tuberculosis checks. The Department of Agriculture took the decision to initially withhold £168,000 in compensation for the slaughtered cattle while suspected irregularities in the tests carried out in 2006 were investigated. Mr Crawford, of Greenhill Road, Maguiresbridge, was prosecuted for allegedly interfering with the process by administering an unknown substance. He was acquitted of all 11 charges brought against him under the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.
EAR TAG FRAUDS GENERAL
Investigations by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Trading Standards have revealed that some farmers are swapping ear tags from dairy cattle that have tested positive for bovine TB, with animals that are less productive. The less productive animals are then sent for slaughter and the farmer is compensated for the loss. The alleged evidence of fraud originally emerged from an investigation instigated by Gloucestershire trading standards officers who reviewed TB cattle sent to two slaughterhouses. A spokesman for Defra has said that three cases in England were already on their way to prosecution and investigations are continuing.
According to media reports in 2010 there were problems of untagged cattle in Ireland. Some seventy cattle were seized in Co Cork, Ireland by the Department of Agriculture's special investigation unit and Garda teams at the start of 2010. Shortly after this they seized another 56 unidentified cattle in Co Cork. The cattle were found on a number of farms in north Cork and none of them had identification tags in their ears. The official raids took place over a number of weeks after officials from the local offices of the Department of Agriculture and Food had been concerned about certain herds in the area. Some five farms are reported to have been visited by the investigating teams, which rounded up the animals and looked for identification for them. The first of the untagged animals were uncovered in raids on two farms in the Macroom and Dunmanway areas in January 2010. According to one blog it was believed a gang was operating in the area offering to buy animals for a very low price from farmers who had failed to tag or present animals for mandatory bovine TB or brucellosis tests.
FINED FOR BREACHING TB RESTRICTIONS
Anthony Kirkham and his son Nicholas Kirkham, of Ridley Farm in Tarporley, have been fined more than £6,000 for breaching TB restrictions relating to the movement of cattle on and off Ridley Farm and Butlands Paddock, based in Spurstow, Cheshire, in breach of tuberculosis restriction notices served by the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs on June 28, 2009. They appeared before South Cheshire Magistrates Court to face charges brought by Cheshire East Council’s animal health department. At the hearing on Friday January 21, Anthony Kirkham admitted 87 offences of moving cattle between January and June 2010, and asked for 102 offences to be taken into consideration. He was fined £5,756 and ordered to pay costs of £4,561.83.
SHROPSHIRE VET SUSPENDED
15 March 2100 the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) suspended from the Register for ten months a veterinary surgeon found to have dishonestly certified that he carried out bovine tuberculosis (TB) testing and measured and recorded the test reactions of 248 cattle, when in fact he knew he had not tested all the animals. The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of veterinary education.
CATTLE SHOT WREXHAM
AT In a rather unusual incident thirty cattle were shot in March 2011 after escaping from a farm. A council spokesman said the cull was not due to disease but with WAG’s obsession with eradicating bovine TB and biosecurity we wonder if this was the underlying reason for the action taken in this case. Certainly it raises many questions.
CEREDIGION VET SUSPENDED
Vet denies failing to carry out accurate checks for bovine TB and submitting paperwork which reported he had done so. Alleged he tested 104 animals, but allegedly simply glanced at some and used his thumb and forefinger to measure others instead of using proper instruments. Failure to measure folds some or all of the records entered on the certificate were false and he was inaccurate in his certification.
DAIRY FARMER COMMITS SUICIDE AFTER COMMITTING EAR TAF FRAUDS
Dairy farmer from Elmore Back in Gloucestershire commits suicide after being investigated for ear tag and passport irregularities
John Round, 44, a dairy farmer from Elmore Back in Gloucestershire, took his own life allegedly because he was being investigated for ear tag and passport irregularities. he died after deliberately by-passing the safety cut-out on his tele-handler. He was found in the farm’s silage pit crushed against the side wall. Former Trading Standards officer, Nigel Durnford, told the inquest in Cheltenham held in September 2011 that the investigation had been about cattle, which had been sent for slaughter after reacting to bovine TB testing. He said it was believed the cattle sent for slaughter were not those which had reacted positive at the farm, and that their ear tags and cattle passports had been changed. DNA samples apparently showed none of the five cattle in question were related to their listed offspring or their dams, he said. In a statement made three weeks before his death, Mr Round said that cattle ear tags were changed when they got damaged, and some may have been given the wrong tags, but he was satisfied all the correct cattle had been sent for slaughter.
The inquest heard the father of three had been ‘worried’ about the investigation and the day before his death. He had been told that his biggest customer, Dairy Crest, would no longer buy the farm’s milk.
Summing up, deputy Gloucestershire coroner, David Dooley, said he was satisfied that Mr Round had intended to take his own life. The verdict was suicide.
FLINTSHIRE FARMERS BLAME bTB FOR CATTLE NEGLECT
On 22 September 2011 Mold Magistrates Court dealt with a case brothers, Gareth and Kenneth Jones, of Wern Fawr Farm, Caerwys. The two farmers (brothers) involved had apparently bought too many cows and could not afford to feed them and ‘a number of cows’ had died as a result of malnutrition. The brothers were prosecuted, by the council, for failing to provide an appropriate diet/bedding for the cows and suitable accommodation for sheep.
The judge heard that the brothers were unable to sell their cows at anything other than a considerable loss because of bovine TB ‘lockdown’ restrictions, but they could not afford to feed them all.
The brothers were given a community order, which requires them to stay indoors at their home between 9pm and 5am – Gareth Jones for four months and Kenneth for two months. Both are to be fitted with electronic tags and they were ordered to pay £6,500 each in prosecution costs.
CATTLE MOVEMENT OFFENCES NEATH
www.tradingstandardswales.org.uk/prosecutions/Monsaninalhealth.cfm and www.bovinetb.co.uk/article.php?article_id=103
Ccattle dealer from Neath, Port Talbot as well as land in Monmouthshire
At Newport magistrates court a cattle dealer who operates from Neath, Port Talbot as well as land in Monmouthshire pleaded guilty to 22 offences under the Cattle Identification (Wales) Regulations 2007 with the court being informed that there were approximately 2500 offences altogether and that the ones before them were specimens.
Offences related to moves on and off holdings under the dealers control in Neath Port Talbot and Monmouthshire and included cattle that had moved through the local livestock markets as well as various other premises across South Wales. Under the cattle identification regulations it is a requirement that all moves on and off livestock premises are notified to the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) within 3 days of any movement taking place.
ANGLESEY VET PRACTICE BANNED FROM bTB TESTING
A veterinary practice has been banned from testing cattle for bovine TB after it was found out it wasn’t conducting the process properly. The practice is the Gaerwen based vets Bennett-Williams that sent out letters to farmers and farming unions explaining the disruption to TB testing.
Cattle farmers who use the practice for TB testing were told by Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to make alternative testing arrangements after an audit of TB testing procedures identified the problems.
To regain the right to deal with TB, vets at the practice will need to be re-trained.
VET SUSPENDED ANGLESEY
A spokesman for the Animal, Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) part of government’s DEFRA department said: “Following an audit of TB testing procedures, which identified a failure to follow standard operating procedures, AHVLA has suspended a private veterinary surgeon working in North Wales from operating as a panel 1a (bovine TB testing) official veterinarian, pending re-training.
EA$ TAGGING OFFENCES
Info from www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Fraudulent-farmer-Timothy-Juckes-continued-sell/story-17573639-detail/story.html
In December 2012 a farmer was found guilty of ear tagging and related offences. The fraud offences could be summarised as deliberate swapping of identities of TB reactor cattle with healthy livestock; retaining the reactor animal and producing milk from it; and in one case having a calf born to a reactor cow. Farmer Timothy Juckes, 36, kept on selling milk from cattle which had tested positive for TB and should have been destroyed, a court heard. The farmer, from Gloucestershire, one of the alleged bTB hot spot counties and venue for one of the infamous pilot cull trials, was prosecuted by the Gloucestershire Trading Standards department. Juckes, of Tredington House, Tredington, near Tewkesbury, admitted 10 charges of fraud against Defra.
Four of his animals reacted to TB tests carried out by a Government vet and had been condemned to slaughter, Gloucester Crown Court was told. But instead of having them put down, Juckes sent the livestock to the slaughterhouse instead,. He was then paid compensation - a total of £4,173, plus £1225 for the later animal - by Defra for the livestock which should have been destroyed but he also earned money by selling milk from condemned animals. Because there is to be a Proceeds of Crime investigation into his finances to determine what assets he has and what his criminal benefit was Judge William Hart decided to adjourn sentence. He said he had a 'substantial' financial penalty and costs in mind once the Proceeds of Crime position had been finalised.
Mr Liddiard told the court that on October 15, 2010, a veterinary inspector went to Mr Juckes' farm and found that three cattle were positive reactors to TB. Another test was carried out the following month and there was a single reactor animal and he was told that, too, had to be slaughtered. The court was told that; 'The prosecution amounts to this: in reality he did not send any of the four reactor animals to slaughter. He did send four animals, but not those four.' He had sold milk from one of the animals for a year, earning £3,500 for it. "He went about ensuring that he could continue to use these animals. It was a fairly deliberate and fairly persistent process on his part," he said.
Judge William Hart told Adam Vaitilingham, defending, that he was not considering a prison sentence or an unpaid work order and a financial penalty was appropriate. He bailed Juckes to a date to be fixed after April 1, adding: "I will not be sending you to prison."