1 May 2018

A farmer who failed to keep records relating to his animals has been fined by the courts. Sheffield City Council prosecuted the farmer, Mr John E Dyson of Greaves Lane, Stannington who was fined £530 for repeated offences of failing to keep records.

Mr Dyson was fined £250 by Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay a contribution to the council’s costs of £250, along with a £30 victim surcharge for five offences.

The court heard that Mr Dyson had been prosecuted for four of the same offences in 2014 and 2015.

Farmers are required to keep records of animal movements on and off their premises, for disease control purposes such as foot and mouth. They also need to keep a record of any medication given to the animals so that no drugs enter the food chain. Records of any animals dying on the farm also have to be kept to ensure carcasses are disposed of correctly.

In July 2017 Sheffield’s Animal Health Inspector was very concerned that despite asking Mr Dyson to produce records, he had not done so. Repeated requests were made for the records and when no records were received Mr Dyson was offered an interview to explain himself to officers. However, Mr Dyson failed to produce any records or attend any interview.

The court also heard that Mr Dyson pleaded guilty to a fifth offence of failing to provide sheep with an appropriate risk free environment.

Ian Ashmore, Head of Environmental Regulation AT Sheffield City Council, said: “The council takes its duties regarding animal health extremely seriously. The National Audit Office report on the handling of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak showed that the outbreak cost the public sector over £3 billion and the private sector more than £5 billion. Cases like this, where the health of animals and people are put at risk just because the correct forms haven’t been completed have to be tackled, as these records are an essential part of disease prevention and control.

“We are pleased that the courts view these offences as seriously as we do, and we will not hesitate to take proceedings on animal welfare cases where the council has a statutory responsibility.”