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Metfield farmer banned from keeping livestock




Cattle were underfed. Images supplied by Suffolk County Council
Cattle were underfed. Images supplied by Suffolk County Council

A farmer who pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences has been banned from keeping livestock.

Robin Hayward, 45, of Withersdale Hall in Metfield pleaded guilty to nine offences relating to the health and welfare of cattle on his farm, as well as the non-disposal of dead cattle.

Cattle were underfed
Cattle were underfed

On Friday April 13, at Ipswich Crown Court, Hayward was sentenced to a total of 44 weeks in prison suspended for two years, ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid community service, fined a total of £16,200, ordered to pay full costs of £12,921.42 and banned from keeping farmed animals for 10 years.

Suffolk Trading Standards jointly visited the farm with the Animal and Plant Health Agency following a referral that advised that 18 dead cattle had been removed from the premises. Upon inspection a further 39 cattle corpses were found within a muck heap.

Investigation into the welfare of animals on the farm found that they had been caused unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Mr Hayward had also failed to register calves born on his farm, as well as report those that had died.

Suffolk Trading Standards has worked with Mr Hayward, and locals assisting on the farm, to ensure the welfare of the remaining cattle has been improved so they can be sold.

A corpse in the muck heap
A corpse in the muck heap

Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment, Public Protection and Broadband said: “The integrity of the food chain and preventing disease outbreaks are critical in protecting both human health and the rural economy of Suffolk.

“This prosecution acts as a reminder of the importance of maintaining good farming standards and should reassure the public that action will be taken, when necessary, to protect consumers.

“I would encourage anyone within the farming community who may be going through difficult times, to contact the Farming Community Network. The network provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help, whether the issue is personal or business-related, and they can be contacted on 03000 111999.

“Anyone who is concerned about the welfare of livestock can report it, in confidence, by contacting Trading Standards via 03454 040 506.”

Corpses lined up after being exhumed
Corpses lined up after being exhumed


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