Given a suspended term for animal cruelty offences

Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.
Symbol of law and justice in the empty courtroom, law and justice concept.

A Co Antrim farmer was today (Tuesday) given a suspended sentence and banned from keeping animals for five years after he was convicted of a number of animal cruelty charges.

James Steele (46), Gobrana Road, Glenavy, Antrim, was sentenced at Antrim Magistrates’ Court on six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to bovine animals, two charges of failure to dispose of animal carcases, one charge of failure to comply with an animal by-product requirement and one charge of using an ear tag to identify an animal which had already been used for identifying another animal.

He was sentenced to five months imprisonment suspended for three years in respect of the animal welfare and by-product charges, and two months suspended for three years in respect of the cattle ear tag charge. These sentences are to run concurrently.

A deprivation order with immediate effect for five years was granted under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

These offences came to light as a result of numerous inspections of Mr Steele’s farm by DARD Veterinary Service staff over a six week period in April and May 2015.