Farmer fined for leaving dead sheep stuck in mud in Surfleet Marsh

Lincoln Magistrates Court.
Lincoln Magistrates Court.
  • Prosecution after failure to keep ‘acceptable animal welfare standards’
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A farmer who left a number of dead sheep stuck in thick mud on land in Surfleet Marsh has been handed fines and surcharges totalling £18,550.

Courton Green (56) of Lodge Farm, Laughton, near Folkingham, was sentenced on Thursday after he was previously found guilty of four animal welfare offences.

The conditions these sheep were kept in fall well below acceptable welfare standards.

Dee Stockley, lead investigating officer for Lincolnshire Trading Standards

It emerged that in February 2014, Green had kept hundreds of sheep in two fields where some of them became stuck in thick mud where a number of them eventually died.

During a hearing in July, Insp Sarah Chambers from the RSPCA told magistrates that she had expected to see sheep with their feet stuck in mud when she first visited the scene.

But Insp Chambers then described how she saw a sheep’s head sticking out of the mud and also a number of dead sheep in the same field.

Magistrates also heard evidence from Dee Stockley, lead investigating officer for Lincolnshire Trading Standards, who said that several of the sheep were utterly exhausted from trying to get out of the mud.

Miss Stockley added: “The conditions these sheep were kept in fell well below acceptable welfare standards.”

“One of the sheep was found to be dying on its side and unable to get up, even though its legs were moving.”

Evidence was also given by two independent vets and at the conclusion of the case, Miss Stockley said: “Mr Green was given lots of advice and a number of opportunities to demonstrate that he would comply with the requirements of the animal welfare legislation and achieve the necessary standards of care.

“However, Mr Green failed to do so and this left us no alternative but to bring this case to court.

“This sends a clear message to those who do not meet basic animal welfare needs - we will continue to take all necessary action to ensure that these acceptable standards of animal care are met.”