A Cornish smallholder has been banned from keeping animals after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to cattle, including allowing ‘unnatural’ breeding to take place.

Justine Peroni, 52, of Downderry, Torpoint, appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court this week.

The court heard how Cornwall Council had received information that Miss Peroni had cattle in appalling conditions at her smallholding.

Officers from the Council’s Animal Health team and vets from DEFRA visited the farm, where they found emaciated cattle, one of which had severe mastitis, fields littered with hazardous objects, and a bull that had got his mother pregnant.

Miss Peroni pleaded guilty to five charges:

• On 14 January causing unnecessary suffering to a cow by failing to provide prompt effective treatment

• On 14 January failing to provide a suitable environment for cattle by allowing them access to items that had the potential to injure them

• On 17 June causing unnecessary suffering to another cow by failing to provide prompt effective treatment

• On 17 June failing to tag a calf within 20 days of its birth

• On 16 January failing to prevent unnatural breeding procedures by allowing a bull to sire a calf with its mother

District Judge Diana Baker curfewed Peroni to her home for six weeks and also handed her a five year ban on keeping cattle, pigs and sheep. She was also ordered to pay £2,000 towards the council’s costs.

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Jane Tomlinson, Cornwall Council’s head of trading standards, said: “Miss Peroni was given a lot of advice and ignored most of it. Even the most obvious of cattle welfare needs were ignored, one cow with severe mastitis had pus dripping from her udder, and the bull had made his own mother pregnant.

“We will continue to work with DEFRA to ensure all the cattle are removed from the smallholding within the next few days.”

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Cornwall Council officers work to assist farmers, small holders and businesses across Cornwall in complying with the relevant legislation.

“However, where officers find repeated non-compliance, the council will take formal action to protect the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”

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