A haulier from Co. Down has been convicted of one charge of transporting a bovine animal that was not fit for the journey.

53-year-old Kenneth Boyd of Magherabeg Road, Dromore, Co. Down, pleaded guilty and was convicted of the charge today (Monday, May 15) and was fined £250 plus a £15 offender’s levy.

The haulier was convicted at Newry Magistrates’ Court.

Northern Ireland’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said the case arose when one of its vets examined the animal presented by Boyd at an abattoir.

The department said it was in very poor body condition and was displaying signs of severe lameness.

Its back was arched while standing and walking, and several of its joints were swollen.

The department said that it was the vet’s professional opinion that the animal presented by Boyd was unfit to be transported.

He was convicted of one charge of transporting a bovine animal which was not fit for the journey contrary to Regulations 5 of the Welfare of Animals (Transport) Regulations (Northern Ireland).

DAERA said it gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

Any breaches, it said, are investigated thoroughly and offenders are prosecuted as necessary.

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 also requires that animals must be fit to travel and must be cared for if they fall ill or are injured during transport.

The animals must be accompanied by competent persons and must be transported to their destinations without undue delay.

All those who have animals in their care either on farm, in transit or at slaughter have a duty of care to look after that animal’s welfare, DAERA said.