Animals found in horrendous conditions at Loughgall farm

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A Loughgall farmer has been convicted of a number of animal welfare charges, including causing unnecessary suffering.

Following a complaint by a member of the public, DARD Veterinary Service staff carried out a number of welfare inspections on the farm of Robert McKeown (55), of Clovenenden Road, Loughgall.

The officers discovered animals being kept in horrendous conditions in unsuitable housing. A number of animals had to be humanely put down to prevent further suffering. A number of improvement notices were issued to McKeown in relation to the conditions his animals were being kept in but he failed to comply with them.

McKeown was convicted of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to two bovine animals and two charges of failing to ensure the needs of three animals were met to the extent required by good practice.

He was also convicted of two charges of failure to provide adequate care without delay for three animals which appeared to be ill or injured, two charges of failure to comply with notices requiring him to provide a safe environment for his animals and requiring him to provide sufficient feeding spaces for housed cattle, one charge of failing to ensure that the accommodation for his animals was maintained to ensure it was not likely to cause injury to his animals, one charge of failing to have the carcasses of two animals collected without undue delay, one charge of failing to hold a carcass in such a manner as to ensure that any animal or bird would not have access to it, one charge of failing to have the body of a bovine animal tested for BSE within 24 hours of its death and one charge of failing to produce his medicine records.

At Armagh Magistrates Court on Monday, January 19, the Loughgall farmer was disqualified from keeping bovine animals for two years in respect of the Welfare of Animals Act 2011 charges.

McKeown was given a conditional discharge for two years in respect of the other charges.