A FARMER has been ordered to pay £5,500 for moving cows without passports from England and abandoning them on a farm in Carmarthen.

Paul Taylor, of Wheel Farm, Worfield in Shropshire, admitted five charges of cattle offences when he appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court.

Carmarthenshire County Council was first made aware of the offences when they were alerted by a farmer who woke up to discover eight cows had appeared on his land. Council investigations soon established they had belonged to a former owner of the farm who had sold them on.

In a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire County Council, the court heard that Taylor had purchased 11 bovines that came from a farm in Carmarthen – only three had passports. It is illegal for cattle to be moved without a passport or licence.

He then arranged for HF Pugh and Sons hauliers to transport them from the farm in Llanddarog onto his farm in Shropshire.

Further investigations by animal welfare officers revealed the cows were owned by Taylor. Taylor panicked and moved the cows back to the farm where they came from. He was then approached by council officers and tried to cover up by giving false information claiming the cows were never dropped off at his farm.

In mitigation Taylor said he had been duped by a 3rd person and that he bought the cattle in good faith and was told they all had passports. He panicked when he found out they didn’t have passports and should not have been moved off the farm at Llanddarog. He decided it would be best if the animals were returned to the farm from where they had come. He also accepted that he had lied to the officer in a telephone call and email but he felt he was between a rock and a hard place as the regulatory offences had been committed and he didn’t know what to do. He accepted he should not have lied and was remorseful for this. He was of clean character and a number of character references were placed before the court for consideration.

For moving the eight cows from his farm that was on a six-day stand still period for disease control purposes was fined £300; for moving eight cows without passports to a Llanddarog Farm, and not being tested for TB prior to been moved, £500; providing false information to a council animal health officer, £300; failing to produce registration documents for the eight cows, £300; failing to notify the secretary of state the movement of three bovines on to Wheel farm, Bridgenorth, Shropshire, £300 and failing to notify the secretary of state of the movement of three bovines off Wheel Farm £300. He must also pay £3,418 costs and £50 victim surcharge.

John Herbert Pugh, of Wood View, Craven Arms, Newcastle in Shropshire admitted providing a false transport document to a council animal health officer. He was fined £500 and told to pay £3,418 costs and £15 victim surcharge.

In mitigation, Pugh said he moved the animals as he had been informed by a 3rd party that the bovines had passports. When he found out they hadn’t and shouldn’t have been moved, he panicked and produced a false transport document. He accepted that he should not have done this and admitted lying after he was asked for a formal statement off a council animal welfare officer. Pugh had not been before a court previously and had worked in the industry for a number of years. Character references were also produced on his behalf.

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