Farmer convicted at Newry court

Date published: 20 December 2021

Mr John Thomas (Sean T) Murphy (64), Carnally Road, Carnally, Newry was convicted at Newry Magistrates' Court today on one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, one charge of leaving animals unattended, one charge of failing to comply with a duty imposed under animal welfare regulations, one charge of failing to isolate an animal with tuberculosis, one charge of failing to notify the movement of fourteen cattle off his premises and one charge of failing to notify the births of eight cattle.

Mr Murphy was convicted and fined £2,100, received two years' imprisonment suspended for two years on the last two charges plus a £15 offender levy.

The case arose from a number of discrepancies found during a cattle identification inspection carried out by DAERA’s Welfare and Enforcement Branch. They were also tasked with the seizure of a tuberculosis reactor which Mr Murphy had failed to present for collection and slaughter. The reactor animal was found mixing with other animals in breach of the isolation notice. During their inspection they found a number of animals suffering unnecessary pain and distress and animals in need of veterinary attention.

 

Notes to editors: 

  1. Mr Murphy was convicted of one charge of, by reason of an act or failure to act by himself, caused unnecessary suffering to an animal and he knew or ought reasonably to have known that the said act or failure to act would have that effect or was likely to do so contrary to Section 4(1) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
  2. Mr Murphy was convicted of one charge of, without reasonable excuse, left unattended animals, namely cows, for which he was responsible, and failed to make adequate provisions for their welfare contrary to Section 14(2) of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
  3. Mr Murphy was convicted of one charge of, without lawful authority or excuse, contravened or failed to comply with a duty imposed under Regulation 3(1) and Schedule 1, Paragraph 2(1)(2) of the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 contrary to Regulation 6(a) of the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011.
  4. Mr Murphy was convicted of one charge of, being a person on whom a notice was served requiring him to keep an animal in isolation, failed to comply with the notice in contravention of Article 9(1) of the Tuberculosis Control Order (North Ireland) 1999 contrary to Article 52(1)(a) of the Diseases of Animals (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.
  5. Mr Murphy was convicted of one charge of, being the keeper of bovine animals, in contravention of Article 7.1 of the Council Regulations (EC) No 1760/2000 and Article 6.3 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2629/97, failed to notify the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the movement of 14 cows, off his holding in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 7 of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths and Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 contrary to Regulation 5(1) of the Cattle Identification (notification of Births, Deaths and Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  6. Mr Murphy was convicted on one charge of, being the keeper of bovine animals, in contravention of Article 7.1 of the Council Regulations (EC) No 1760/2000 and Article 6.3 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2629/97, failed to notify the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the birth of eight calves in accordance with provisions of Regulation 6 of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths and Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 contrary to Regulation 5(1) of the Cattle Identification (Notification of Births, Deaths and Movements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
  7. The Department gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary.
  8. The majority of herd keepers fully comply with the requirements of the TB eradication scheme. Current disease levels continue to remain high at a considerable cost to the public purse and to individual herd keepers. It is vital all stakeholders work together to reduce the disease prevalence, and that infected animals are identified, isolated and removed at the earliest opportunity to minimise risk to other stock in the infected herd and in neighbouring herds.
  9. Breaches of the Cattle Identification Regulations weaken and undermine the cattle traceability system in Northern Ireland, including the integrity of the Department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).
  10. The current interest in food safety by both Government and consumer groups means it is essential that the Department is clearly seen to be implementing all legislation pertaining to the traceability of livestock.
  11. Cattle movements, notified to the Department, are recorded on to the APHIS database. The provision, within statutory limits or upon request, of complete and timely information concerning cattle in the herd, to the Department, is fundamental to the credibility and integrity of the Department’s Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS).
  12. Births must be notified to DAERA within seven days of identification or before movement of the holding whichever is the earlier, calves must be identified (a) within 36 hours of birth in the case of a dairy herd or (b) within 20 days of birth in herds other than dairy herds.
  13. It is important that births are reported correctly/promptly as it enables DAERA to keep an accurate and up to date record of the animals in the herd-keepers’ herds and it is also a means to detect potential welfare problems and disease issues.
  14. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook: https://twitter.com/daera_ni and https://www.facebook.com/daerani.gov.uk
  15.  All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office at: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk. ​​
  16. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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