A Cornish dairy farmer and cheesemaker guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to his livestock has been banned for life from keeping farm animals.

At Bodmin Magistrates’ Court on June 8, 2021, Simon Philip Stansfield, aged 63, from Upton Cross, Liskeard, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three calves, failing to care for a lame cow and a sick freshly calved cow, and failing to provide water, food and dry bedding for calves.

Mr Stansfield was banned from keeping farm animals for life.

He was also ordered to pay a £1,150 fine, a £115 surcharge and £5,561.50 in costs.

On September 8, 2020, inspectors from Cornwall Council’s Animal Health Team and Defra's Animal and Plant Health Agency visited the farm in response to a complaint and gave advice and guidance.

On October 6, 2020 the inspectors returned to the farm following another complaint and discovered further breaches of legislation.

The court heard that on both occasions, inspectors found calves kept in pens which were wet and dirty.

Some of the calves did not have water or food available to them.

They also found a lame cow housed with five calves in a shed that was so deep in slurry the cow struggled to walk through it.

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Mr Stansfield’s representative informed the court that TB restrictions had led to the farm being heavily stocked.

He added that Mr Stansfield was of ill health and that he had lost a key member of staff which led to the recruitment of new employees.

Mr Stansfield, who had been co-operative throughout the investigation, acknowledged that he had overall responsibility for the cattle on the farm but due to his ill health and his cheesemaking business he had been unable to cope.

When sentencing the magistrates gave credit to Mr Stansfield for the early guilty plea and acknowledged his ill health.

Jane Tomlinson, head of trading standards for Cornwall Council, said: “This case was brought before the court after inspectors had given advice and guidance.

"A month later upon their return to the farm, things were no better, and in some cases worse.

"Mr Stansfield clearly could not cope and had failed to address this.”

Mr Stansfield said: "Due to ill health, I was paying a farm agency to care for the animals, and they failed to do that.

"Consequently, I would really like to remind farmers that any work that they contract out is ultimately their responsibility."