Sheep needed urgent treatment for illness and injury as farmer caused unnecessary suffering

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 October 2016

The sheep were ill and injured. (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto).

The sheep were ill and injured. (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto).

Archant

A sheep farmer has been found guilty of animal cruelty, after his animals were left ill, injured and emaciated.

Edgar John Keedwell, aged 70, has been convicted of 13 offences after a two-day trial into allegations he caused unnecessary suffering to animals.

Keedwell did not seek veterinary help for his sheep at Rains Batch, Charterhouse, near Blagdon, which suffered from lesions, infections and lameness.

He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to 19 sheep under his care last winter.

North Somerset Courthouse was told sick and injured sheep were not isolated in suitable accommodation, and he failed to treat a ewe for fly strike, despite requests by a Trading Standards officer.

When the officers, from Devon and Somerset Trading Standards, visited they found two animals so weak and emaciated that they had to be put down.

The rest needed urgent treatment.

Officers also found dozens of dead sheep in fields containing live sheep, and Keedwell had not kept a record of the dead sheep.

He had also not contacted a vet about why the sheep were dying.

Somerset county councillor David Hall, who has responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “In this case the farmer was clearly neglecting the welfare of his stock and he should have taken action sooner to protect his animals from unnecessary suffering.

“Farmers have a duty to collect and dispose of fallen stock without delay to an approved premises and they must keep records of mortalities.”

Keedwell, of Breach Hill Farm, in Chew Stoke, will be sentenced at North Somerset Courthouse on November 8.

Councillor Roger Croad said: “We support rural industry and the farming community and will work with businesses to get it right first time; but where poor practice and unnecessary suffering are discovered we are committed to taking action against those responsible.”

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