Judge gives farmer ban on livestock

Cattle at Cockerill's farm at Rosedale Abbey
Cattle at Cockerill's farm at Rosedale Abbey

A livestock-keeper has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping animals after pleading guilty to seven offences of breaching animal health and welfare legislation.

Andrew Cockerill, who keeps cattle at The Grazings, Rosedale Abbey, appeared before Scarborough magistrates following an investigation by North Yorkshire County Council‘s Trading Standards service.

Cockerill was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, 150 hours community service, ordered to pay costs of over £1,600 and also received a 10 year ban from keeping all animals.

The investigation began in 2012 following joint working between Trading Standards Service and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (Executive Agency).

Officers visited Cockerill’s farm at Pickering numerous times between July and December last year.

They found approximately 50 cattle being kept in hazardous and potentially dangerous conditions.

The housed area was four foot deep in dirty bedding and the access to water outside was via deep, thick mud and slurry.

Despite being given advice by officers no action was by Cockerill taken to remove the hazards.

Other problems on the farm included immature heifers being kept with a bull, a situation which presented a danger to the heifers.

In addition, calving cows had no access to a well-drained bedded lying area as required by animal welfare rules.

Cockerill was prosecuted previously by the council in relation to animal welfare offences and at that time he was made to reduce the number of cattle he kept at his farm on the North York Moors, near Pickering.

Graham Venn, assistant director at Trading Standards and Planning, said: “We will continue to take action against those individuals who flout animal health and welfare rules which are in place to protect livestock to ensure they are kept in the highest of welfare standards.

“It is important North Yorkshire County Council continues to take its responsibilities seriously to stop these types of situations from happening and to ensure that farming standards are kept to the highest possible level.

“The majority of North Yorkshire farmers operate to very high standards and it is our duty to ensure those standards are met and that individuals are not allowed to tarnish the good reputation of the county’s farming community.”