Farmer fined for animal by-product offences
When a testing team attended Richard Piercy’s farm in Water End, Stokenchurch, to conduct TB tests on his cattle, their attention was drawn to animal carcasses, pigs’ heads and sheep skulls being stored on the premises, apparently in breach of animal by-products regulations.
When trading standards officers later attempted to carry out an inspection to investigate the situation, Mr Piercy refused them access to the farm, so they had to apply for a warrant and police escort to gain entry.
Based on the inspection, Mr Piercy was charged with five offences under animal by-products regulations, covering:
- Failure to dispose of animal by-products properly using a licensed collector
- Failure to comply with an enforcement notice
- Obstructing authorised officers from entering for an inspection
- Failure to produce records and documents when requested.
Mr Piercy appeared before High Wycombe magistrates on 28 October and pleaded not guilty on all counts. In mitigation, he told the court that he made practically no profit on the farm, and gave other extenuating circumstances. Finding him guilty, District Judge Dodds fined Mr Piercy a total of £600, and ordered him to pay £400 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: “This prosecution demonstrates that we take offences of this nature very seriously, and our trading standards officers do their utmost to ensure the law relating to disposal of animal by-products is upheld.”