A man responsible for one of the “worst cases of animal neglect seen in years” has been banned from keeping animals for life and handed a suspended prison sentence after an investigation by Cornwall Council.
Rodney Pascoe, 65, from Delabole in Cornwall, appeared at Bodmin Magistrates Court to answer to 10 charges of causing “unnecessary suffering” and “failing in his duty of care to his animals”.
Pascoe pleaded guilty to all charges, which were bought before the court following a joint investigation between by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Rural Payments Agency and Cornwall Council.
Passing sentence, district judge Diana Baker told Pascoe that this was the “worst case she had seen in years”, and the court heard how animals were found in an awful condition, with cattle “drowning in muck” and being “so emaciated” they could not stand up.
He was also told by the Baker to either sell, or remove from his land, his remaining cattle within 28 days, and ordered to pay costs of £4,952 to Cornwall Council within the same period. He was also handed an additional victim surcharge of £115.
Jane Tomlinson, Cornwall Council’s trading standards manager, said: “It is regrettable that prosecution action had to be taken in this case against a farmer based in Cornwall. However despite attempts by the relevant agencies to advise him, he failed to provide the most basic needs for his animals.
“Consequently there was no credible option but to prosecute. I want to stress however, that this situation is not typical of the high standards of farm animal welfare upheld by farmers in Cornwall.”
Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for the environment and public protection added: “Cornwall Council officers work to assist farmers, smallholders and businesses across Cornwall in complying with the relevant legislation.
“However where we find repeated non compliances and a complete disregard for farm animal welfare, we will take formal action to protect animals and the reputation of the Cornish farming industry.”