After allowing dead animals to rot, a farmer was banned from keeping livestock for five consecutive years.
After pleading guilty to numerous charges related to animal welfare violations and farm practice violations in November, Richard Scarfe was sentenced by Haverfordwest Magistrates Court.
The 40-year old left Lamphey, Wales to abandon his farm animals. He was often in terrible conditions, and sometimes without any clean water or food.
The animals, which included goats donkeys bovines sheep and pigs, were covered in mud and in desperate condition.
Scarfe was arrested for the following offences on January 26: failing to conform with animal by-product requirements; causing unnecessary suffering and pain to protected animals; intentionally obstructing an individual exercising an s.18 authority relating to an animal that is in distress; failing to ensure animal welfare, and failing to report birth, movement, and death of cattle.
The four-acre Highland View Fold farm owner was warned by police and welfare inspectors several times.
Pembrokeshire County Council purchased the case after they described what they saw on the farm: pigs in muddy pen, animal carcasses in fields, dirty bedding, and dirty water.
According to the court, Scarfe had a plan to seize animals last year. However, Scarfe sent a message to Facebook users announcing that his animals would be taken without any reason.
This led to between 30 and 40 people blocking the police’s attempts to seize them from the farm.
Scarfe claimed he was being harassed despite his eight years of experience in stock management.
His defense stated that he loved animals and did his best to help them.
She answered each claim with a defense, stating that the dead animals were temporarily left in the field because the tractor was broken and could not be moved.
She claimed that pigs are only hungry if they are fed once per day.
The water troughs that were dirty were because the water had collected from the roof and appeared muddied.
Scarfe admitted to the photos, but stated that he had made changes in his work habits and conditions.
District Judge Christopher James was left shocked animals were left in Scarfe’s care.
He said: “I have seen in the report that you think you have not done anything wrong and you were advised to plead guilty, which shows contempt and arrogance.
“[These offences]Partly because they are motivated commercially and part because they want to provide for their family.
“I note that there has been points of incompetence rather than neglect. The images and number of animals involved are extremely serious.”
Scarfe was given 17 prison sentences to run concurrent at a total of 14 weeks, suspended for two years.
The judge added that Scarfe “Throughout this period, there were many opportunities to address the issue.” the issues and was “”Surprised animals were left” in his custody.
Christopher added: “It is clear that the greater harm category is met, given that there have been a number of deaths to animals and a high level of suffering caused over a sustained period.
“The level of suffering over an elongated period where you thought you were doing your best is simply not good enough.
“It is clear you do not have the means or experience to meet the minimum standards expected of animals in your care. I am surprised animals were left with you.”
Under Section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 he was disqualified from owning livestock or participating in keeping them for five years in respect to goats, donkeys, bovines, sheep and pigs.
Scarfe was also ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work within 12 month.
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