Farmer who caused lamb ‘unnecessary suffering’ given two year ban

A stock image of a lamb

A stock image of a lamb - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A North Devon Farmer who pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a lamb has been banned from keeping cattle and sheep for two years.

Andrew Conibear, 57, of Vellacott Lane, Combe Martin, pleaded guilty to failing to look after animals in his care in Barnstaple Magistrates on June 8.

He also pleaded guilty of failing to dispose of dead livestock without ‘undue delay’.

Over two years Conibear had repeatedly been advised by officers from Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards and vets from the Animal and Plant Health Agency about the condition of his livestock.

The animals were in poor condition with little food and suitable conditions to lay. In one instance a lamb was so weak it could not stand and had to be euthanised to prevent further suffering.


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The court suspended the ban for three months in order to give Conibear time for the sale and disposal of his existing livestock.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “Whilst action like this is often the last resort, trading standards will take appropriate action to ensure that animals are kept in a safe and healthy environment.

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“Farming is a large part of the South West economy and the continuing welfare of animals is a priority for the service and of concern to the wider public.”

In addition to the ban Conibear was ordered to pay a £150 fine and a £34 victim surcharge.

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