A Co. Antrim farmer has been convicted on 27 animal welfare charges at the Lisburn Magistrates’ Court.

Trevor Sinclair, with an address of Montgomery Drive, Lisburn was convicted of 10 charges of failure to notify the movement of 10 bovine animals (cattle) off his holding.

Sinclair was convicted of a further 11 charges of failure to notify the deaths of 11 bovine animals and five charges of failure to notify the births of five bovine animals.

In addition, Sinclair was also convicted of one charge of failing to dispose of 11 bovine carcasses.

It is regarded as good practice to remove without delay any animal carcass from a farm to prevent the spread of disease, protect public health and avoid detrimental effects to the environment.

Sinclair pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined £560 plus a £15 offender levy.

The case, which saw 27 charges being brought against Sinclair, arose from discrepancies found at a Cattle Identification Inspection of Sinclair’s herd carried out by the Veterinary Service Enforcement Branch.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, breaches of the Cattle Identification Regulations weaken and undermine the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland.

The current interest in food safety by both Government and consumer groups means it is essential that the Department is clearly seen to be implementing all legislation pertaining to the traceability of livestock.