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

Burton Mail - - Front Page - By NICK REID nick.reid@reach­plc.com

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

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