A livestock farmer from Staffordshire Moorlands has been fined a total of £1250 and given a 12-month community order for animal neglect offences.

67-year-old Alan Belfield pleaded guilty to 18 charges of animal neglect and failing to correctly dispose of the carcasses of animals that had died and was sentenced on Wednesday, January 19, at Cannock Magistrates court.

Animal neglect

Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards animal health officers visited the holding used by Belfield in September 2020, and found three sheep in poor bodily condition.

Image: Staffordshire newsroom

One of the sheep was suffering from flystrike and others with abnormal udders, one which had a black cable tie fastened around the udder.

During the inspection, other sheep in the flock were found to be exhibiting signs of lameness, a matter that Belfield had previously been warned about in 2019.

In addition, the investigation found that Belfield has failed to report movements of sheep from a local livestock market to his holding or keep an annual inventory of the numbers of sheep he owned.

Commenting on the case, cabinet member with responsibility for trading standards at Staffordshire County Council, Victoria Wilson said:

“The vast majority of livestock keepers act responsibly and play an important part in our rural economy.

"Unfortunately on rare occasions, we do get cases like this where animals are badly neglected.

“We are pleased this case has reached a successful conclusion.

"This sentence sends out a clear message that our animal health team will take action against those who break the law in such a manner.”