Father and son fined for animal cruelty
BRANSTON PAIR GIVEN BAN AFTER KEEPING UP TO 70 ANIMALS, WHICH INCLUDED CHICKENS, RABBITS AND BIRDS OF PREY, IN POOR LIVING CONDITIONS AND BADLY FED. ALL HAVE BEEN REHOMED
POOR feeding conditions, unsuitable cages and housing predators next to prey are some of the reasons why a father and son have been banned from keeping animals for two years.
Jason Smith and his son Jeremiah Smith, of Burton Road, Branston, have both been prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The RSPCA found up to 70 animals at the address including chickens, rabbits and birds of prey, the latter kept in cages for parrots and being fed unsuitable foods. Chickens were also not being treating for a mite infestation.
Mr Smith senior pleaded guilty to charges of failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to animals between August 10 and 15, last year.
Jeremiah Smith pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to animals.
The RSPCA has praised the court for its ruling and warned people not to keep animals they cannot look after.
Laura Baker, investigator for the RSPCA, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome; disqualifications are what we look for when we bring these cases to court and we feel this was a good outcome.
“I am pleased to say that all the animals that were affected are safe and have been rehomed.
“We are happy with the court’s decision as this stops people who are not capable of
looking after animals buying them in the future.”
Jason Smith, 46, pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to animals.
This included failing to treat 17 chickens for a mite infestation and failing to meet the need for a suitable living environment for 30 chickens.
Mr Smith senior also pleaded guilty to failing to meet the need for a suitable living environment for three goldfinches.
Jeremiah Smith, 21, pleaded guilty to four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals.
This included failing to meet the need for a suitable living environment for five rabbits, a kestrel, two barn owls and 12 pigeons, as well as failing to meet their need of a suitable diet and constant water supply for the rabbits.
The court heard how Jason Smith had been looking after the animals on behalf of his brother-in-law and it was stated that he had put the responsibility of looking after the animals in “someone else’s hands”.
It was also heard that Jason Smith had looked after goldfinches all his life.
Jeremiah, who is a father of three-yearold triplets, had bought the pigeons and the rabbits for the children.
Nigel Weller, defending Jeremiah, said: “He accepts what he did was wrong and that it was not intentional to harm the animals.
“The rabbits were not for him but for his children and he was new to looking after them. He bought them before getting the provision of hutches.
“He lives with his wife and as the children are at that age where they are into everything, he helps his wife look after them on a daily basis and therefore neglected his responsibilities for the animals.”
Judge Johnathan Taaffe imposed the ban and also fined both men at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.
Jason Smith was fined £600. He also had to pay £425 for the RSPCA investigation and a £30 surcharge, taking his total amount to pay to £1,055.
Jeremiah Smith was fined £1,000. He also had to pay £425 for the RSPCA investigation, as well as the £30 surcharge, taking his total to £1,455.
Sara-Lise Howe, defending Jason Smith, said that there would be an appeal.
Two of the birds that were in the care of Jason and Jeremiah Smith