Farmer fined for neglecting sheep with scab

Dylan Williams was sentenced for seriously neglecting sheep with scab
Dylan Williams was sentenced for seriously neglecting sheep with scab

A Welsh farmer has been ordered to pay over £1600 after council officers found his sheep suffering from severe wool loss and irritated skin.

Forty-seven sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition were found last year on Dylan Williams' Ceredigion farm.

The majority of the flock inspected were seen with severe wool loss and irritated skin which are signs of sheep scab.

The disease can lead to weight loss and thickened skin with scabs due to the intense, uncomfortable itching caused by the condition.

On 10 July 2019, Mr Williams appeared before magistrates at Aberystwyth Justice Centre and was sentenced for animal by-products and animal welfare offences.

The 47-year-old had previously appeared at the Aberystwyth Magistrates Court where he entered pleas of guilty to the four offences brought before the court by Ceredigion County Council.

There were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, two of which were for causing unnecessary suffering to two ewes.

One ewe was suffering from severe weakness due to scab infestation. Another ewe was found unconscious on the land with her intestines protruding from her flank, likely due to predation as she had also suffered from scab over a prolonged period.

Another offence related to Mr Williams’ failure to ensure the welfare needs of his flock were met by his failure to properly inspect the flock and to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.

Magistrates sentenced Mr Williams to a community order with a requirement that he carried out 250 hours of unpaid work in the community, he was also ordered to pay the investigation and legal costs of the council which amounted to £1648.

Alun Williams, of Ceredigion County Council, said: “The council is deeply saddened that yet another serious animal health offence has been committed within the county.

“Our animal welfare officers and our legal team had no option but to carry the prosecution due to the seriousness of the offences committed.

“I would urge individual farmers who are facing difficulties in caring for their stock to seek advice from the County Council and the farming unions.”