A West Dorset dairy farm, ran by Ireosa Ltd., has pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cow and calf by failing to care for them, along with a series of other animal welfare-related offences relating to conditions on their farm.

Ireosa Ltd. appeared at Poole Magistrates Court for sentencing on September 20, 2022, having pleaded guilty to seven offences at an earlier hearing.

These offences were concerning animal health and welfare, animal by-products and feed legislation, and were brought to court following an investigation by Dorset Council Trading Standards.

Ireosa Ltd. was fined a total of £52,650 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £6,186.

The court heard how officers visited the dairy farm in April 2021, together with a vet from the Animal and Plant Agency (APHA). They found three sick and emaciated calves, dirty pens, water troughs and feeding equipment.

They also noticed a cow with a badly injured front leg that had not received veterinary treatment for three months. They freed a calf that was trapped in wire and left in a field with livestock.

Various cattle bones and a skull were found dotted around the farm as well as dead calves in pens with live cattle.

The court was told that officers from the council’s trading standards service had been visiting the farm for over six years with the aim of ensuring that welfare standards were improved.

As a result of the visit in April 2021, the farm had lost its Red Tractor accreditation for a minimum period of two years.

Cllr. Lara Beddow, Dorset Council portfolio holder for customer and community services, said: “Our Trading Standards team work with livestock keepers to improve the welfare of their animals, but when advice and basic animal husbandry is ignored, formal action can and does follow.

“All livestock keepers have a clear responsibility to ensure conditions they keep animals in, and the care they are given, is adequate.

“Where there is evidence of unnecessary suffering, we will intervene and consider formal enforcement action,” she said.

For health and welfare advice on keeping farmed animals or to report and animal welfare problem, Dorset residents can call the Trading Standards team on 01305 224475, or email [email protected].