Yorkshire farmer pleads guilty to 22 offences after burned carcass found on farm

A Yorkshire farmer has been given a suspended sentence for breaches of the Cattle Identification Regulations and for failing to properly dispose of Animal By-Products.

The case brought to court by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council after Environment Agency inspectors found a partially-burned animal carcass on the farm in February 2017.

Michael Farndale pleaded guilty to a total of 22 offences under the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007 and two offences under the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013.

He was given a six-month sentence for each offence to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months.

The offences related to:

  • Five cattle whose passports were used in relation to an animal other than the animal for which it was granted;
  • 16 cattle that had no ear tags present and no holes where ear tags should have been applied; and
  • Failing to complete a cattle register in a format that was available at all times to the competent authority.

Farndale also failed to dispose of two cattle carcases in the proper manner.

Dr. Christopher Wood, the barrister acting on behalf of the council, explained that when the council’s animal health officer visited the farm, the burned carcase had been removed and Farndale denied all knowledge of its existence.

However, it was noted during this visit that several calves had not been identified with ear tags. A full cattle check was carried out and a total of 16 animals failed to fully comply with the cattle identification regulations.

Further investigation into the farm’s activities with the British Cattle Movement Service showed five sets of primary and secondary ear tags had been requested.

These animals had been sent to mart with appropriate passports, however, animals were also found on the farm bearing the same identification; two of these had subsequently entered the food chain.

Farndale could not explain how this had happened, nor which animal belonged to the passport.

Farndale also failed to keep a keep an up-to-date register for his cattle in an approved format and available to the authority upon request.

A further visit to the farm on Thursday, May 10, 2017, identified bones and an animal carcase buried within the farm and household refuse.

Farndale could not explain how the beast had come to be there. Despite being told both verbally and in writing to dispose of the carcase, he still failed to dispose of it in the correct manner.

It was only when a notice was served on Farndale that the carcase was eventually removed from the farm and disposed of correctly.

The original beast identified by the Environment Agency is still unaccounted for.

Speaking after the Court Case Councillor Lynn Pallister, Redcar & Cleveland Council cabinet member for Health, Housing and Welfare, said: “This case underlines how seriously we take any flouting of cattle identification and animal by-product laws.

The safety of the public is always of paramount importance and anyone not complying with the law by posing a risk to the food chain and not disposing of dead animals correctly will be dealt with effectively.

“Our officers will continue to do all they can to protect public health when visiting and inspecting farming premises and will crack down on those that fail to keep their businesses in order.”