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Council obtains forfeiture order on Bramble Hall Farm seized animals

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A LARGE number of pigs will be destroyed, some animals transferred intro the custody of charities, and sheep will be sold following a hearing at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court today (Mar 7)

On January 28 and 29, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Team obtained and executed court warrants at Bramble Hall Farm, Ferry Lane, Pembroke Dock, with the support of other agencies and animal charities. This was covered at the time in The Pembrokeshire Herald both online and in our print edition, with live videos as protestors gathered outside the farm.

Sean and Pamela Burns of Bramble Hall Farm were the respondents in an application by Pembrokeshire County Council for a court order to confiscate the seized animals and sell them on; or destroy them if they were unfit or suffering.

At Haverfordwest court on March 7, an application was made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which Mr Owen had described as “the most draconian of legislation, its only there the purpose of it is to take property away from third parties like me.”

The application for a civil order sought for 20 horses and a donkey to be put in the care of the RSPCA, 50 dogs to the Dogs Trust, 80 sheep and three goats to the local authority to be sold.

The court was told that unfortunately the pigs would have to be destroyed “due to them all having access to animal by-products, presenting a risk to public health if they found their way in to the food supply chain.”

Represented by Aled Owen, the respondents, who had been convicted of illegal dog breeding in 2018, said that the lack of time they had to prepare for the case was “against the principle of natural justice” – but their request for a 7 day adjournment was denied.

The court was told by Rhian Young, representing the council, that dogs were sited in unsanitary and hazardous shed blocks littered with faeces and urine and that puppies alive and dead from a fresh litter were found amongst the dogs’ food.

Members of the public in the gallery were in tears as the evidence was read out.

Miss Young added that horses had little grass for grazing and were forced to eat litter and forage for food on scrap-filled land. She said that the dominant horses were the only ones able to access a solitary bale of hay.

The court was shown a video of the feeding of pigs on the blood and urine-soaked floor. Also found were chained sheep carcasses, with twenty pigs and piglets competing to feed on the carcasses

The Pembrokeshire County Council request for a civil order was granted

Mr Burns was ordered to pay costs of £76,844.29.

After the hearing, a council spokesman said: “We welcome the decision of the magistrates. The order they have made is in the exact terms of the draft order we submitted, including our application for costs.”

The council is continuing to investigate a range of related offences in respect of a number of individuals.

Richard Brown, head of Environmental Services and Public Protection, said: “Please be assured that we are continuing to monitor the welfare of animals that remain on site. Legitimate grounds for believing that the welfare of any animals is compromised will result in further action.”

Despite public animal welfare concerns, Pembrokeshire County Council is unable to prevent any individual from acquiring or keeping animals. Only a court can do that.

If someone has been convicted for an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the court can make an order depriving/disqualifying them from owning, keeping, participating in keeping or controlling or influencing the way animals are kept, transporting or arranging the transportation of animals.

There is nothing stopping animals being brought to a site/kept on site until a disqualification is in place.

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Council’s cannon stolen from outside Cleddau Bridge Hotel

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A LARGE cannon has been stolen from the now closed Cleddau Bridge Hotel in Pembroke Dock in the last few days.

A local councillor and the police have appealed for information which will lead to the safe return of the gun.

Ward councillor Joshua Beynon said: “Dyfed-Powys Police have just telephoned me to say they are investigating the cannon that was stolen from the former Cleddau Bridge Hotel. It is believed to have gone missing sometime between the evening of Wednesday 20th March to the morning of Thursday 21st March.”

The police said in a statement: “If anyone has any information then can I urge you to call the police on 101 and quote the crime number: DPP/0064/21/03/2019/01/C as soon as possible.”

The cannon, one of two dug up from the ground at Hobbs Point and later restored, used to stand outside Llanion Park, the former offices of South Pembrokeshire District Council, which is now the head office of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The canon is the property of Pembrokeshire County Council and was given to the hotel on loan.

The hotel’s management neglected to make arrangements for its return to the local authority on closing down.

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How to get a refund for unused Cleddau Bridge tickets after April 1

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has announced details on how it plans to refund Cleddau Bridge users left with unused books of bridge tickets after it becomes toll-free.
From 1st April until 30th June refunds will be available from the Cleddau Bridge office itself and the North Wing Customer Service Centre in County Hall, Haverfordwest.
Refunds for all three classes of tickets will be available at the Cleddau Bridge office.

The classes are:

Class A blue-coloured tickets (for motorcycles)
Class B red tickets (cars and light commercial vehicles)
Class C orange tickets (HGVs).

Refunds at the office will be available round-the-clock from 12 noon on 1st April and will be paid – wherever possible – back to the original debit/credit cards up to a maximum of £150 with cash refunds up to £30.

Any refunds over £150 will be made by BACS transfer unless otherwise agreed in advance.

Only Class B red tickets will be refunded at the North Wing Customer Service Centre in Haverfordwest.

Here, refunds will be paid back to the original debit/credit card up to a maximum of £90 (ie three books of 50 tickets)

The maximum cash refund at this location will be £30 (ie one book of 50 tickets).

Refunds at the North Wing Customer Service Centre will be available weekdays between 9 am and 1 pm and 2 pm until 5 pm.

Organisations which have previously purchased tickets with a value exceeding £400 will be contacted during the week commencing Monday, 25th March with instructions on how to reclaim their refunds on an appointment basis at the Cleddau Bridge office.

The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Paul Miller, said: “I am delighted to announce that bridge users who have unused tickets due to the cessation of tolls will be reimbursed and not find themselves out of pocket.”
Those who qualify for refunds are asked to wait a few days before making a claim so as to avoid a long wait. This particularly applies to refunds at the Cleddau Bridge office.

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Council issue ‘rave alert’ to farmers, landowners and local communities

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL and Dyfed-Powys Police are asking farmers, landowners and local communities to be on alert over the coming weekend (23rd and 24th March) for warning signs of any illegal raves planned for their land.

Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the police, especially if there are unusual numbers of vehicles – in particular, camper vans, vans or trucks – seen in the locality.

Illegal trespassers may recce sites in advance of any rave, or people may approach landowners and ask around for land, in the guise of hiring it for acceptable activities such as gymkhanas or scout camps.

Raves can cause anxiety to the community they are held in and, if not dealt with swiftly, are difficult to stop due to the sheer numbers of people involved. There is also a safety concern involved in breaking up such events.

Anyone with concerns should call Dyfed Powys Police on 101 and ask to speak to the Duty Sergeant or Duty Inspector at Haverfordwest Police Station.

Alternatively, please call Pembrokeshire County Council’s out-of-hours service on 01437 775522.

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