A West Wiltshire farming couple appeared in court at Swindon on Monday (September 6) to face a total of 24 charges between them relating to the care and management of animals.

Diane Shearmon, 40, and Nicholas Shearmon, 55, both of Spiderweb Paddocks, Rusty Lane, Seend, have both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They are jointly accused of failing to register the deaths of 21 animals, keeping a register of their flock of sheep, and failing to protect their sheep and cattle from risks to their health.

Mrs Shearmon faces ten charges, while her husband faces 14 charges. All but one of the offences are alleged to have been committed in 2019.

The prosecution has been brought by Wiltshire Council. Magistrates adjourned their case to September 20.

Diane Shearmon and Nicholas Shearmon jointly face the following ten allegations:

• On December 3, 2019, failed to ensure that animals that appeared to be ill or injured were cared for appropriately and isolated in suitable accommodation with appropriate, dry and comfortable bedding

• On December 3, 2019, failed to ensure a cow was cared for appropriately and without delay

• On November 20, 2019, failed to protect nine cows from risks to their health by preventing access to a muddy bog/pond

• Between November 27 and December 17, 2019, failed to protect a flock of sheep from risks to their health by preventing access to a muddy bog/pond with submerged debris

• On or before December 17, 2019, failed to provide a suitable diet for eight cows

• On or before December 3, 2019, failed to notify the Secretary of State within seven days of the deaths of 16 animals and enter the detail in an animal passport

• On or before November 22, 2019, failed to complete a register and record the deaths of five cows in accordance with the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007

• On or before December 3, 2019, failed to notify the Secretary of State about the movement of cattle onto a holding at Lopcombe Corner, Salisbury

• On or before November 22, 2019, failed to keep a flock register for a flock of sheep

• On or before November 20, 2019, failed to hold three carcases pending consignment or disposal in such a manner as to ensure that no animal or bird had access to them

In addition, Mr Shearmon is also charged with four other allegations as follows:

• On or before November 20, 2019, caused unnecessary suffering to two cows by failing to seek veterinary treatment. Post mortems indicated the cows had chronic malnutrition, intestinal parasitism and a lungworm infection

• On or before November 20, 2019, caused unnecessary suffering to a cow by failing to seek veterinary treatment for a weak cow. A post mortem indicated the cow was suffering from chronic malnutrition, intestinal parasitism and a lungworm infection, and had spent a significant time lying down prior to its death

• On November 20, 2019, caused unnecessary suffering to a cow that was found to be anaemic, dehydrated, extremely thin and severely bloated

• On December 17, 2019, failed to ensure the needs of a horse were met by failing to address or remove environmental hazards as requested

• On December 3, 2019, failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure animals that appeared to be ill or injured were cared for appropriately and isolated in suitable accommodation with, where appropriate, dry comfortable bedding

• On December 3, 2019, failed to ensure a cow was cared for appropriately and without delay

• On November 20, 2019, failed to protect nine cows from risks to their health by preventing access to a muddy pond/bog

• Between November 20, 2019, and December 17, 2019, failed to protect a flock of sheep from risks to their health by preventing access to a muddy bog/pond with submerged debris

• On or before December 17, 2019, failed to provide a suitable wholesome diet for eight cows

• On or before December 3, 2019, failed to notify the Secretary of State of the deaths of 16 animals

• On or before November 22, 2019, failed to record the deaths of five animals in accordance with the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007

• On or before December 3, 2019, failed to notify the Secretary of State about the movement of cattle onto a holding at Lopcombe Corner, Salisbury

• On or before November 20, 2019, failed to keep a flock register for a flock of sheep

• On or before November 20, 2019, failed to hold three carcases pending consignment or disposal in such a manner as to ensure that no animal or bird had access to them