Man charged after council finds cattle knee deep in mud

Officers found dozens of cattle deep in mud in fields full of scrap (Photo: Bath and North East Somerset Council)
Officers found dozens of cattle deep in mud in fields full of scrap (Photo: Bath and North East Somerset Council)

An 81-year-old farmer has been banned from keeping animals and ordered to pay out £10,000 after officers found 80 cattle knee deep in mud in fields full of rubbish.

John Hasell, of Home Farm, Hinton Blewitt, pleaded guilty to six charges of animal welfare issues on September 5.

He also admitted one charge of allowing animal carcases to be accessed by birds and animals.

Livestock were competing for small amounts of hay and some were drinking rain water from puddles in fields full of rubble, scrap metal and plastic waste, Trading Standards officers found.

The court heard that a herd of 70 to 80 cattle were being kept in fields that were deep in mud and contained large amounts of scrap.

Three calves were found entangled in the wire fencing, one of which was comatose and had to be put to sleep.

Other animals were left lame with no vet treatment and struggling to move in the mud.

Cattle that had died were left uncovered on the back of a truck for over a week before they were disposed of.

Magistrates were told that Mr Hasell had received regular advice from Bath & North East Somerset Council animal health officers.

He was told he must provide his cattle with sufficient food, water and suitable grazing.

The court heard that problems on the farm started last autumn and continued through until summer, when Mr Hasell sold his last remaining cattle.

Magistrates accepted that his own health had deteriorated over the period and that he had been unable to look after the cattle.

However, court stated that he should not have ignored advice provided and should have made alternative arrangements for his animals.

Mr Hasell was sentenced to 16 weeks custody suspended for two years along with a 12 week curfew.

The court also disqualified Mr Hasell from keeping or looking after livestock for an indefinite period and ordered he pay £10,000 towards prosecution costs.