Farmer and haulier convicted and fined on animal welfare charge

A farmer and a haulier were recently convicted at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on a charge connected with the transportation of an animal.

Farmer, Patrick McParland from Brootally Road, Co. Armagh,was convicted at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on one charge of causing a bovine animal to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or unnecessary suffering to it.

Stephen Smyth, a haulier from Madden Road, Keady, Co. Armagh, was also convicted on one charge of transporting a bovine animal in a way which was likely to cause injury or unnecessary suffering.

Both men were fined £500 (€582) each as well as a £15 (€17.40) offender levy.

Smyth was transporting an animal belonging to McParland to an abattoir in Northern Ireland.

The Official Veterinarian (OV) at the abattoir noticed that the animal was almost completely non-weight bearing on its front right leg which was massively swollen.

In the opinion of the OV the animal had been caused unnecessary suffering by being transported.

Farmer who polluted a waterway fined over €1,750

Meanwhile, a farmer who polluted a waterway in Co. Down was fined £1,500 (€1,740) as well as a £15 (€17.40) offender levy in court recently.

The farmer, David James (Jay) Warden from Gransha Road, Bangor, was fined at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court for polluting around 3.5km of a waterway in Co. Down.

On July 11 in 2015, Water Quality Inspectors (WQI) acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) investigated a pollution incident.

The pollution was caused by farm yard effluent being discharged to a tributary of the Cotton River, Bangor in Co. Down.

The inspectors discovered the waterway was covered in sewage fungus immediately downstream and discoloured as far as Ballyholme Beach where the Ballyholme River meets Belfast Lough.

Inspectors entered the farm at Gransha Road and observed silage effluent discharging from a storm pipe to an open water course adjacent to the farm yard.

The stream smelled strongly of silage effluent and was impacted by sewage fungus from the silage effluent tank actively discharging to the waterway adjacent to the farm yard, according to the inspectors.

In accordance with procedures a statutory sample of the effluent was collected.

This was a serious polluting offence allowing farm effluent to enter a waterway which flows to Ballyholme Beach, a local amenity and ‘Blue Flag’ beach.