A dairy farmer and cheesemaker has been banned from keeping farm animals and ordered to pay more than £6,800 in fines and court costs after failing to provide adequate care for his cattle.
At Bodmin Magistrates’ Court on 08 June 2021, Simon Philip Stansfield, aged 63, from Upton Cross, Liskeard, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three calves, failing to care for a lame cow and a sick freshly calved cow, and failing to provide water, food and dry bedding for calves.
Mr Stansfield was banned from keeping farm animals for life. He was also ordered to pay a £1,150 fine, a £115 surcharge and £5,561.50 in costs.
On 08 September 2020, inspectors from Cornwall Council’s Animal Health Team and DEFRA’s Animal and Plant Health Agency visited the farm in response to a complaint and gave advice and guidance.
On 06 October 2020 the inspectors returned to the farm following another complaint and discovered further breaches of legislation.
The court heard that on both occasions, inspectors found calves kept in pens which were wet and dirty. Some of the calves did not have water or food available to them. They also found a lame cow housed with five calves in a shed that was so deep in slurry the lame cow struggled to walk through it.
Mr Stansfield’s representative informed the court that TB restrictions had led to the farm being heavily stocked. He added that Mr Stansfield was of ill health and that he had lost a key member of staff which led to the recruitment of new employees.
Mr Stansfield, who had been co-operative throughout the investigation, acknowledged that he had overall responsibility for the cattle on the farm but due to his ill health and his cheesemaking business he had been unable to cope.
When sentencing the magistrates gave credit to Mr Stansfield for the early guilty plea and acknowledged his ill health.
Jane Tomlinson, Head of Trading Standards for Cornwall Council, said: “This case was brought before the court after inspectors had given advice and guidance. A month later upon their return to the farm, things were no better, and in some cases worse. Mr Stansfield clearly could not cope and had failed to address this.”
Councillor Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change at Cornwall Council said: “Where officers find non-compliance or a disregard for farm animal welfare, the Council will take formal action to protect animals and to protect the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”