A Cornish farmer has been given a suspended prison sentence and is banned from keeping farmed animals for life.

Timothy Dean Harris, from St Breward pleaded guilty to charges relating to failing to provide adequate care for sheep and cattle and failing to dispose of carcasses.

After having received a complaint, inspectors from Cornwall Councils Animal Health Team and the Animal and Plant Health Agency inspected Harris’ stock which were kept in fields around the village of St Tudy in August 2022.

Here, inspectors found cattle in poor body condition and two lame cows, as well as sheep which had access to lose fencing and trailing barbed wire.

Further complaints were made which resulted in visits in June and July where officers found multiple carcasses which were incorrectly stored or left in fields.

They also found a lamb which had a severe skin infection following flystrike.

On January 3, 2023, at Bodmin Magistrates Court, Harris pleaded guilty to five offences relating to animal welfare and animal by-products and sentencing was adjourned.

On Tuesday (April 25) Harris was sentenced at Bodmin Magistrates Court. The court heard that Harris’s father who used to help care for the animals had been taken ill some months before and Harris took sole ownership of the animals and was also helping to care for his grandmother at the time.

Harris told the court he took responsibility for what has happened and won’t be keeping stock again.

The court said the case showed prolonged neglect with ignored warnings and advice which resulted in high harm to the animals involved, including death.

The offences are so serious they surpassed the custodial sentence, but this was suspended due to the animals having been sold.

Harris was handed a 20-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was banned from keeping farmed animals for life and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

The lifetime ban may not be appealed for 10 years and is effective immediately.

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Jane Tomlinson, trading standards manager, Cornwall Council said: "This case was brought after inspectors had given Mr Harris advice and guidance on many occasions.

"Mr Harris clearly did not take on board this advice which lead to the welfare issues with his cattle and sheep and a disregard for the legislation concerning the disposal of carcasses."

Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change said: “Where officers find non-compliance or a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, the council will not hesitate to take formal action.

"Allowing sheep access to hazards and failing to treat them for flystrike infection, failing to treat lame cattle and provide them with a suitable diet, and leaving carcasses to rot in fields is completely unacceptable.

"I welcome the court’s decision to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”