A MAN who kept livestock at a farm near Pershore was given a suspended prison sentence and a ten-year ban from keeping livestock and horses.

Derek Bateman, aged 69, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, 150 hours of unpaid work and 12 days of rehabilitation activities. He must also pay £18,161 costs.

The sentence, at Hereford Crown Court, follows an investigation by Worcestershire County Council’s trading standards team in relation to the failure to deal with sheep carcases and the welfare of livestock at the farm at Throckmorton.

Bateman was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to several cattle by failing to provide suitable veterinary treatment; failing to ensure an adequate diet for a sheep; failing to maintain the environment where the animals were kept, in that a large number of hazardous materials including pieces of wire, broken glass and pieces of metal were present; and failing to correctly dispose of the remains of dead animals.

The case resulted from a number of visits undertaken at Ridgeway Park Farm.

Animal health officers from Trading Standards and vets from the Animal and Plant Health Authority identified serious issues with the welfare of a number of animals and that the bodies of sheep that had died on the site were not being dealt with as required to prevent the spread of disease.

One cow was in such a poor state that it had to be destroyed.

The vets said the land was so heavily contaminated that it was not fit to be used for grazing. This was despite advice on a number of visits between March 2017 and September 2017.

The court heard Bateman failed to heed warnings issues by officers in relation to disposing of carcases and the animal welfare matters. He admitted a range of offences under the Animal By-products Regulations 2013 and the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

In mitigation, Bateman’s legal representative said that he did not intend to continue farming, his main source of income was state pension and he had considerable personal debts.

The court heard Bateman, of Cadle Road, Wolverhampton, had set up his company Midland Meats Ltd with the intention of making money. The offences were aggravated by the number of visits, advice and warning letters sent by both county council and APHA officers, all of which were ignored.

County councillor Lucy Hodgson said: “The livestock industry is very important to the Worcestershire economy so anyone who endangers that by ignoring disease control measures needs to be taken to task."

Bateman was sentenced on Monday, January 28.