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Herefordshire farmer guilty of animal welfare offences has been banned for 10 years from keeping livestock

Hereford Voice

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A farmer from Garway has been fined, given an 18-month community order and banned from keeping livestock for 10 years from 16 February 2023 in a case brought by Herefordshire Council’s trading standards service.


Richard Sparey of Lodge Farm was sentenced by Hereford magistrates after previously pleading guilty to 10 charges of failing to correctly store and dispose of a large quantity of animal carcasses. Trading as HJ Sparey and Son, the farmer was also guilty of ensuring the needs of sheep and cattle he managed met required good practice.

As well as the ban and community order, the farmer was given 20 days’ rehabilitation, fined £2500, with a victim surcharge of £95, and ordered to pay costs of £5165.83 on 22 December 2022.

Complaints about dead stock in fields were made to Herefordshire Council’s trading standards service between March and June 2021. Animal health officers visited sites where the farmer kept animals. They advised him on the needs and conditions of animals in his care. He was also informed of his requirement to properly dispose of all animal carcasses. Despite the warnings, officers found dead sheep in water where animals drank as well as carcasses that had not been collected from fields. Officers also found a dead cow next to animal feed.

Marc Willimont, Herefordshire Council’s head of public protection, says:

“This was a particularly serious and distressing case for everyone involved. Officers uncovered a very unsuitable farming environment with dead stock left in fields and within water that other animals could drink from. The council will continue to support farmers and all livestock keepers to ensure that best practice is maintained on farms and smallholdings. We do not tolerate animal suffering and take action against anyone who disregards the welfare of farmed animals.”

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