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Cattle dealer sentenced for failing to test for Bovine TB

Bovine TB can have a devastating effect on cattle and rural economies. Credit: PA

A cattle dealer has been sentenced for failing to test his animals for a deadly disease, which has previously been found in Cumbria.

Lesley Anthony John England, 65, from Devon, didn't test his animals for bovine tuberculosis, or ensure their movements could be traced as part of animal disease controls.

He was sentenced to:

  • 90-hour community penalty
  • £60 victim surcharge
  • Costs of £13,572 to Cumbria County Council's Trading Standards, who brought the prosecution

He had been convicted following a trial at Carlisle Magistrates Court on 3 September, of:

  • Sixteen offences of failing to carry out bovine tuberculosis (bTB) pre-movement testing of a total of 59 cattle on various dates between May and August 2014
  • Seven offences of failing to notify the movements of a total of 45 cattle between April and June 2013
  • One offence of failing to notify the use of land.

Unfortunately TB is prevalent in some parts of the country and the effects on farmers can be devastating. Legal controls are in place to help prevent the spread of the disease and so when these rules are flouted, the livelihoods of others are put at risk.

Much of the farming community rely on those in the supply chain complying with the control measures that are intended to minimise the spread of TB and its potential threat to rural livelihoods. This case shows that ignoring the law which is in place to protect livestock and the livelihood of the farming community can result in a hefty penalty.

I am pleased to see that the judge in this case has recognised the seriousness of the offences and the importance of the joint work of Cumbria’s Trading Standards Animal Health Team, Legal Services and Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency to take robust action when the rules have been broken.”

– Councillor John McCreesh, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Trading Standards