Maghera farmer convicted of various animal offences

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Maghera farmer John Yorke (56), of Drumlane Road, Upperlands, was convicted at Magherafelt Magistrates’ Court today on a number of charges involving animal movement, identity and unnecessary suffering. He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,750 plus £15 offenders’ levy.

Yorke failed to notify the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) of cattle movements on to his holding or the birth of three animals, one charge of using an ear tag to identify an animal which had already been used to identify another one and two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two bovine animals.

The case arose following a cattle identification inspection and a follow up investigation of Yorke’s activities by officers from DAERA’s Welfare and Enforcement Branch. In addition to the cattle identification and movement irregularities, officers discovered two cows in a field in very poor condition. Both cows were severely emaciated and unable to rise. Birds were pecking at one of the animals. The two cows were euthanised by a veterinary surgeon to prevent further suffering.