An Enniskillen farmer has received two months imprisonment for causing unnecessary suffering to cattle and failure to dispose of animal carcasses.

Patrick Gerard Donnelly (61), of Cabra, Irvinestown, Enniskillen, was convicted at Enniskillen Magistrates' Court on this week on June 20, 2016.

Donnelly pleaded guilty and received two months imprisonment on each charge, to run concurrently, plus £28 costs.

This case arose from an anonymous complaint, in 2015, to the then Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).

Donnelly was convicted of one charge of, by reason of an act or failure to act by him caused unnecessary suffering to animals, namely cattle registered to him, and he knew or ought to reasonably have known that the said act or failure to act would have that effect or was likely to do so, contrary to Section 4(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Furthermore, he was also convicted of one charge of, being a person to whom an animal by-product requirement applied, in contravention of Regulation 6 of the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011, failed to hold a carcass or part of a carcass of any farmed animal that had not been slaughtered for human consumption, pending consignment or disposal.

This charge was in accordance with the EU Control Regulations as read with the EU Implementing Regulations, in such a manner as to ensure that any animal or bird would not have access to it, contrary to Regulation 17 of the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011.

The North's Department of Agriculture gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

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

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