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Animal welfare warning for farmers

Farmers transporting animals to auction are being warned to focus on the welfare of their livestock following an increase in Trading Standards investigations.

Warwick Alabaster, agricultural specialist in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team at Napthens solicitors, reports that he has seen an increase in Trading Standards activity at auctions.

Officers are apparently stepping up investigations into farmers mistreating the animals they are bringing for sale, meaning the farmers are liable for prosecution resulting in fines or even imprisonment.

He said: “Farmers must be aware that they have a responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act and EU transport regulations.

“If they notice one of their animals is lame, for instance, and this is spotted when they arrive at auction they are leaving themselves open to prosecution. The penalty for transporting an animal which is not fit to travel is potentially a £5,000 fine or six months imprisonment.

“Farmers should always make sure they have checked their stock thoroughly and that they are aware of the health of the herd.

“This is only right and fair, as most farmers abide fully by the law and ensure their animals are in peak health.

“However, those that don’t should be aware of the issues and the potential cost for a farming business.”

Napthens - Blackpool - Litigation and Dispute Resolution