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Farmer in court after cows put down

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A DISTRICT JUDGE has given a Pembrokeshire farmer a 200-hour community service order after he pleaded guilty to multiple animal welfare offences.

The court in Llanelli heard that four cows belonging to Mark Mathias of Chapel Hill Farm, Camrose, near Haverfordwest, had to be put down to prevent further suffering.

The court also disqualified Mathias from keeping, owning, participating in, or influencing the keeping of bovine animals for a period of 12 months.

The ruling follows a prosecution by Pembrokeshire County Council on Friday (3 rd May).

Mathias was charged with four offences under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, of causing unnecessary suffering to bovine animals, and one offence under Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, of failing to ensure the needs of bovines were met to the extent
required by good practice, including providing a suitable diet and Environment.

He also admitted an animal by-product offence whereby bovine carcasses were not stored in the correct manner or disposed of correctly, posing a health risk to the herd via contamination of Feedstuffs.

Guilty pleas were also entered for cattle identification offences for failure to record deaths as required, as well as failing to register cattle within the prescribed time scale.

The court heard that between 20 March and 12 July last year, 14 visits were made to the farm by animal health and welfare inspectors from the Council’s Public Protection Division. On a number of those visits they were accompanied by Animal Plant Health Agency vets. The first visit followed a report of a calf being on its side in the farm yard which was thought to be suffering with no bedding or care Provided.

A substantial quantity of bovine carcasses were also discovered by officers on a yard near baled feed for the herd and inside a large Trailer.

Other welfare concerns were noted within the herd at the time and advice and notices were issued to dispose of the carcasses correctly; to address listed welfare concerns and to improve conditions on the holding to which the herd had access.

The court was told that throughout the ensuing visits, additional notices and further advice was given to Mathias by officers and vets.

These related to conditions on the farm in which the cattle were being kept, welfare concerns, including for specific animals which required veterinary attention and for removal of animal by-products.

The court was told that four animals had suffered unnecessarily which resulted in them being destroyed.

It was also discovered that a large number of cattle had been moved onto the site whilst an active restriction notice was in place under the Tuberculosis (Wales) Order 2010 prohibiting moves on or off site without a licence. Mathias pleaded guilty to failing to observe the terms of the notice.

As part of mitigation for Mathias, reference was made to the mental, physical and financial issues involved in the farming business.

The Bench also ordered Mathias to pay £500 costs and a victim surcharge fee of £85.

After the case, Pat Davies, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and Housing, said the case had presented significant challenges to both Council officers and the farmer with no quick fix solutions available.

Councillor Davies explained: “While officers were mindful of the difficulties faced by the business and sought to offer advice and guidance where they could, the serious and persistent nature of certain offences meant that that the Council was duty-bound to bring
the matter before the court.

“While the herd was almost entirely disposed of following the Council’s involvement, it is critical that where a business model becomes unsustainable that proactive action is taken to ensure that the welfare of animals and disease control measures are not Compromised.”

On behalf of the Council she also thanked the organisations and charities that worked alongside the Authority during the proceedings to help identify and facilitate effective solutions.

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A40 closed at Scleddau due to collision between car and motorbike

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EMERGENCY SERVICES have shut the A40 at in Scleddau due to a serious road collision.

The accident happened just before 2pm. The Herald understands that the collision involved a motorcycle and car at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

Police said: “Emergency services are currently on scene and dealing with the incident. Please find an alternative route if possible. Update to follow.”

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Moley’s Ambassador March to support those who have lost a child

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ON SATURDAY (Jun 19), Andrew Cole (aka Moley) will set off on a 24 hour walk around Pembrokeshire with the aim of doing as many miles in as little time as possible. 

Moley is proud to have recently been made ambassador of the charity ‘2 Wish UponAa Star’ an organisation dedicated to supporting families that have lost a child under 25 years of age.

He will be setting off at 6am in the morning from Neyland and walking all day and night, finishing at 6am the following morning.

2 wish upon a star was set up by Rhian Mannings, who set up the charity after losing her own son.

By celebrating the lives of those lost, and offering support to families through their grief; Rhian and her team offer an essential service to the community and those families who have suffered the devastation of losing a loved one.

Appealing for support from the people of Pembrokeshire he said: “Please give generously to support the wonderful work of Rhian and her team. Also, if you happen to see me in the day, feel free to give me a beep of encouragement’

“If you would like to donate to Moley, and support the charity, you can visit his JustGiving page.”

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/moleycole

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Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

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TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been scrambled from MOD St Athen.

It is understood that a search for a missing person or persons is underway.

Paged this morning: Angle Lifeboat is currently involved in the search south of Tenby

The alarm was raised before 10am this morning (June 18).

Tenby’s Y-boat is also involved in the operation, The Herald understands.

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Rescue underway: Coastguard chopper position at 1030HRS on Friday, Jun 18 (Pic MarineTraffic)
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