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You are here: Home > News > Press Releases > 2008 Press Releases > August

Bryncir Farmer Imprisoned for Cruelty to Animals

Farmer Arfon Jones of Llystyn Gwyn, Bryncir, Garndolbenmaen, Gwynedd has been sent to prison for a total of 15 months at Caernarfon Crown Court today (18 August).

He was sentenced to four months imprisonment in respect of 12 specimen charges brought by Gwynedd Council relating to cruelty to animals, failure to dispose of animal carcases and failure to notify the authorities of the death of cattle and to a further three months in respect of charges relating to assaults upon an RSPCA Inspector and Police Officers. He also asked for 12 further offences to be taken into consideration.

He will also serve the suspended sentence of eight months imprisonment which was imposed in March in respect of similar offences.

Dilys Phillips, Head of the Administration and Public Protection Service for Gwynedd Council, who has responsibility for Trading Standards said:

"This is one of the worst cases of animal neglect that we have ever faced in Gwynedd and the penalty imposed by the court reflects the extent of the offences.

"This case follows a prosecution of Mr Jones for similar offences taken by the Council in 2006, when the court decided not to grant the Council's application that Mr Jones be banned from keeping animals, and the case in March of this year when a ban was imposed. Mr Jones did not comply with the conditions of that ban but the Council will seek possession of the animals to ensure that the order is complied with.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gwynedd Council's Trading Standards officers who dealt with difficult case, as well as the Animal Health Agency and the Police for their support and assistance."

The specimen charges which Mr Jones faced today relate to offences discovered by officers from the Trading Standards Section of Gwynedd Council and the Animal Health Agency when they visited Mr Jones' premises on 11 April. At the two premises farmed by Mr Jones they found over 30 carcases of sheep and cattle lying undisposed on the land. Of these, four were cattle where the proper authority had not been notified of the death. The officers also found signs that one of the animals, a calf had become stuck in the mud and had struggled to free itself before dying. In respect of this, Arfon Jones faced a charge of causing unnecessary suffering.

Although these matters were brought to Mr Jones' attention, further visits were made to the farm over the following weeks to monitor the condition of the stock. These visits revealed further offences and these were reflected in the charges which were taken into consideration. The Council became so concerned about the condition of the stock, and the lack of action on the part of Mr Jones, that they arranged for supplementary feed to be provided, for the carcases to be cleared from the land and for the sheep flock to be treated for infestation.

At his previous appearance in the Caernarfon Crown Court Mr Jones was banned from keeping cattle, sheep and pigs for an indefinite period after pleading guilty to 13 specimen charges relating to cruelty to animals, failure to dispose of animal carcases, failure to apply identity tags to cattle and failure to notify the authorities of the death of cattle. Judge Merfyn Hughes stipulated that the ban would come into effect on 1 July to allow Mr Jones three months to dispose of his 80 cattle and 400 sheep which he then owned. However, when Trading Standards officers visited the farm in early July they found that Mr Jones was still keeping substantial numbers of both sheep and cattle. An application by Gwynedd Council for a Possession Order which would allow it to dispose of the remaining stock will be heard at a later date.

The charges were brought by Gwynedd Council's Trading Standards Unit under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Cattle Identifications Regulations 2007 and the Animal By-Products (Wales) Regulations 2003.

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Last updated: 19/08/2008
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