‘Cruel’ cattle farmer jailed

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse - Credit: Archant

A MOTHER has been jailed for animal cruelty after keeping her cattle in ‘appalling’ conditions.

Kathleen Wallis, aged 62, and her 25-year-old daughter Sarah Wallis appeared in court after North Somerset trading standards officers found cattle living in mud and slurry.

Many animals had substantial hair loss and ringworm, and their food was contaminated with plastic, mesh and twine.

The pair were sentenced on November 10 at Taunton Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which included causing unnecessary suffering to one animal, failing to provide a suitable environment or having regard for the needs of the cattle, and failing to protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

One animal was in so much pain and a vet said it should have been put down weeks before.

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Trading standards took action to remove the cattle from Dairy Farm Buildings, in Wick St Lawrence, in April last year following attempts to advise and support the two women.

Judge Taylor told Wallis senior a custodial sentence was inevitable, given that she had shown no remorse and this was her fourth conviction for animal cruelty.

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He said: “Even to someone with no experience of animal husbandry the conditions were appalling. It was plainly obvious to anybody that it was bound to be causing risks of harm to these animals.”

The judge also said Wallis junior was ‘very much the junior partner’ but was in the ‘thraldom of her mother’.

Wallis senior, of Elizabeth Court, Martock, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison and disqualified from owning, keeping, and participating in the care or transportation of livestock, for life. She was also ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

Wallis junior, from Hillfield Villas, Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire, was handed a 12-month community order, with 12 months’ supervision. She was also ordered to attend a cognitive skills programme and to pay £5,000 costs.

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