Farmer illegally moved herd despite bovine TB controls
A STAFFORDSHIRE farmer who flouted cattle movement restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of bovine tuberculosis has been ordered to pay more than £34,000.
Farmer Mark Pickford has been landed with a £34,332 court bill after ignoring the restrictions.
More than 150 cattle were moved onto land farmed by JD Pickford and Sons in the Staffordshire Moorlands – despite TB movement restrictions being in place and no special licences being sought.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how the family farm was affected by a TB ‘breakdown’ for almost six years – the 38th longest TB breakdown on a farm in England.
It resulted in the 11th highest compensation payout in England – almost £450,000 – after cattle found to be TB ‘reactors’ during testing had to be slaughtered. More than 370 cattle were involved.
Bovine TB was first detected on the farm in December 2009 and a notice restricting cattle movements on and off the premises was issued.
Cattle were only allowed to be moved if special licences were grant- ed for individual animals. A further notice was issued in 2011.
While a number of movement licences were applied for, no further applications were made after October 2013.
But the court heard cattle were moved onto the farm between March 2014 and May 2015 despite concerns being raised by Staffordshire County Council and reminders of restrictions being sent.
Now 54-year-old Pickford, of Kniveden Farm, Mount Road, Leek, has admitted five offences under Cattle Identification Regulations and two under the Tuberculosis (England) Order 2007.
He failed to register the deaths of 197 cattle with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) within seven days –a legal requirement under the same regulations. He also gave incorrect information while applying for 14 cattle passports between July 2010 and June 2014 and used an identification tag which had already been used on another animal.
He was fined £14,332 in total and was ordered to pay £20,000 costs.