A Northern Ireland farmer has been fined £500 by Craigavon Magistrates’ Court for transporting a sheep that was not fit for the journey.

The farmer – Nigel Conway of Sixmilecross, Omagh, Co. Tyrone pleaded guilty in court and was also ordered to pay a £15 offenders levy and £56 in court costs.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) said that Conway transported a consignment of sheep for slaughter to an abattoir.

There, a DARD Veterinary Officer examined the sheep and discovered that one of them had a head injury. The same sheep also had a laceration and fractured skull, DARD says.

The Veterinary Officer found that this injury had been caused by a broken horn and the sheep was unfit for transport as a result.

Recently, another Northern Ireland farmer was fined for transporting a cow unfit for the journey. He was also fined for causing the animal unnecessary suffering.

David Alexander Millar from Ballymone, Co. Antrim pleaded guilty in court and he was fined £4,000.

Upon examination of the cow, the DARD vet found that the cow had a large tumour. This tumour had completely destroyed its left eye.

DARD said that the cow then collapsed and had to be euthanased immediately to prevent further suffering.

DARD says it 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 says.