Duo starved cows on their farm
- Credit: Archant
TWO farming brothers from Draycott have been fined and banned from keeping animals after starving cows until they were so skinny they could not even stand up.
Derek Oatley, aged 71, and his brother Terrance Oatley, aged 68, both of Moor Lane Farm, appeared at Yeovil Magistrates Court on four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two sheep and two cows.
The pair both pleaded guilty to the charges after the court heard the cows were left in an emaciated condition and unable to stand, while a post mortem of one cow revealed a parasite inside its liver.
The court was shown photographs of the suffering animals, which was described by Devon and Somerset Trading Standards representatives as ‘some of the most serious that they have encountered’.
Trading Standards began the investigation in response to complaints about the welfare of animals on the farm and animal carcases found on the land.
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The Oatley brothers were fined £440 each with a £20 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay costs of £3,170.
Magistrates also decided to disqualify them from keeping or owning livestock for five years.
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That means they now have six weeks to remove approximately 350 animals from the farm.
Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “Officers work hard to support and advise the local farming community. There are unfortunately occasions where cases such as this have to be brought before the courts.
“This case sends out a clear message that although farming is a business and a vital part of our economy, the welfare of farm animals should remain paramount at all times.”