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Livestock workers fined for animal welfare offences at Leek Market

A lorry driver and shepherdess have been prosecuted for animal welfare offences relating to the transportation and entering of unfit animals into a livestock market. Lorry driver Jonathan Daly aged 48 of Leek pleaded guilty to one offence for transporting animals in a way that is likely to cause harm or undue suffering. Daly was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £1723 for the transportation of four sheep. Shepherdess Emma Stone, aged 31 of Newcastle-under-Lyme also pleaded guilty to the same offence. She also pleaded guilty for an offence of permitting unfit animals to be exposed for sale in a market, in this case five sheep. Stone was fined £415 and ordered to pay costs of £1723. The case relates to a consignment of 53 sheep (36 ewes & 17 lambs) presented for sale at Leek Livestock Auctions Ltd at Barnsfield’s Junction Road on 21st July 2020. Stone is employed to look after a flock of approximately 700 breeding ewes. Jonathan Daly was the livestock haulier who transported the sheep. Whilst carrying out a routine inspection at Leek Livestock Auctions on the day, Animal Health Officers from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service identified that five of the sheep were unfit for sale in a market. Due to their ill health, four of the sheep had to be put down at the site and the fifth was taken to a local slaughter house. The court stated that the offences were serious and that both parties made errors of judgement with decisions that could have been done differently. Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Whilst the vast majority of our livestock industry look after their animals responsibly, we do occasionally see those who fall below these standards. “The laws around transporting livestock and making sure animals are fit for market are very clear and our Animal Health Team work closely with the sector providing advice to ensure the rules are followed. Where the service finds that animal welfare standards are not fully met, they will take the appropriate action, as in this case.” The hearing took place at the North Staffordshire Justice Court in Newcastle on Monday 2 August 2021.

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