Farmer il­le­gally moved herd de­spite bovine TB con­trols

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

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.

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