A farmer from Uppingham has been fined after trading standards officers found two dead sheep rotting on his land.
A complaint from a member of the public prompted trading standards officers working for Rutland County Council to visit William Noakes’ farm in Stockerston Road in July last year.
The dead sheep were found by the officers and a Defra vet close to an incinerator that should be used for disposing of carcasses.
The officers assessed the carcasses and said one of them had been left uncovered for at least five days, while the other was left for three.
The older carcass already displayed signs that it was being eaten by vermin, which presents a risk of disease spreading.
Mr Noakes was fined £235, plus £570 in prosecution costs, by Leicester Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to the two offences.
Peter Stonely, a trading standards officer for Rutland County Council, said: “It’s important that all farmers manage their stock properly to prevent the spread of disease and to prevent any unnecessary suffering. This was a challenging case and legal action was an absolute last resort.
“We appreciate that there is a lot of pressure on farmers especially at this time of the year but in this case we were concerned about the lack of comprehensive regular checks made to the stock and the failure to dispose of any fallen stock in the correct manner.”
The trading standards service is responsible for the enforcement of animal health and welfare legislation.
Inspections are routinely carried out on farms, at shows and during transportation to ensure that legislation is complied with and standards are maintained.
Duties include: monitoring and influencing the standards of animal health and welfare on farms, in transport and at shows; ensuring livestock is correctly identified and is moved with the required movement documentation; contingency planning and disease prevention; providing advice and assistance to farmers and traders on the animal health and welfare legislation; and investigating complaints.
If you have a concern about animal health or welfare, contact trading standards by calling 08454 040506.