Man caught on abattoir CCTV dragging lame sheep and lifting it by its ears and fleece

Andrew Brock was caught on CCTV shouting at, grabbing and dragging the lame sheep, which was unable to stand by itself. Credit: Wiltshire Council

A man who was caught on CCTV holding a lame sheep by its broken leg and lifting it up by its ears and fleece has been fined.

Andrew Brock, from Beaworthy in Devon, was caught on camera acting aggressively towards the ewe when arriving at an abattoir in Wiltshire in November last year.

The 55-year-old has now been fined £1,600 for causing unnecessary suffering to the animal.

A second man - William Cleave - was also fined hundreds following the incident for transporting livestock without proper authorisation.

Wiltshire Council prosecuted both of the men and they were sentenced during a hearing Salisbury Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 19 September.

The court was played CCTV footage which showed Brock arriving at F Drury & Sons Abbatoir in Tockenham and unloading a large number of sheep.

One of the ewes was unable to stand or walk and was seen crawling to the ramp.

Brock then attempted to get the sheep to stand up, but it immediately collapsed. He was then filmed acting aggressively towards the sheep - including lifting it by the ears and fleece, dragging it, shouting at it and grabbing it.

Finally, he was seen to move the animal by holding its injured rear leg which a post-mortem examination found was broken.

The veterinary investigation officer in the case said the injury would have caused "considerable pain and suffering" for the sheep.

Brock left the sheep and overnight it was filmed attempting to stand and falling, resulting in its rear leg sticking out from its body. It did not receive veterinary treatment and was not put down until more than six hours later, when the abbatoir's vet was opening the facility.

Veterinary expert Sophia Hepple reported that Brock had the chance to stop the ewe's suffering by killing it humanely or liaising with abattoir staff to do so.

"This did not happen, so Brock was responsible for that sheep's unnecessary suffering for more than six hours," said Ms Hepple.

The animals had been transported on behalf of Cleave, who had arranged the journey and provided the transport using his brother's vehicle without his knowledge.

Cleave pleaded guilty to acting as a transporter without authorisation issued by a competent authority. He was fined £660 and told to pay £580 in costs and a £266 victim surcharge.

Wiltshire Council's cabinet member for public protection Cllr Nick Holder said: “We work with the farming community to ensure that high standards of animal health and welfare are maintained, and the majority of our farmers and livestock owners go above and beyond for their animals.

“However, when this isn't the case, our officers will take potential breaches of animal welfare legislation very seriously and won't hesitate to investigate when called upon.”