1 Jul 2011, 9:24 AM
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. The court heard that Jones Evans had been prepared to change ear tags to disguise the identity of animals and he had also admitted animal passport offences. The charges related to fraud, cattle identification and TB regulation breaches, with 21 other offences taken into consideration.
Mold Crown court heard that when cattle with TB were found on the farm (which was run in partnership with his mother and brother), a large number of animals had to be slaughtered.
The Judge, Philip Hughes, said the most serious of the six offences was the fraud Jones Evans committed in May last year, when he kept an animal due for slaughter, which was a pedigree animal, and presented an inferior cow instead. "You stood to make a financial gain at the expense of public health," the judge told him but went on to say; "No evidence has been identified that anything infected did reach the food chain in your case. It is obvious to me that you did not care whether it did or not."
Lee Reynolds, prosecuting for Powys council, said that there were about 200 milking cows on the 400-acre farm and during TB testing in 2009 ear tag discrepancies were discovered.There was concern about the level of TB on the holding and movement restrictions were imposed. In October and November 2009, 180 TB reactors were identified for slaughter and the farm received £400,000 compensation. A further £100,000 was due to be paid for further slaughtering.
The defendant was no longer a partner in the farm, and apparently his future would be that of a hired hand, he said.
Ken Yorston of Powys trading standards said the sentence should act as a deterrent to others in the farming industry who might be tempted to break the animal health regulations.
Information from www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-13980501