A Sleaford farmer has today been sentenced at Lincoln Magistrates’ court after being found guilty of four animal welfare offences.
Courton Green, 56, of Lodge Farm in Laughton, has been given fines and charges of £18,550 after offences including: causing unnecessary suffering on an animal and leaving a number of dead sheep stuck in mud in February 2015.
The court case, heard in July 2015 at Lincoln, heard how in February 2014, Courton had kept hundreds of sheep in two fields in Surfleet Marsh. A number of the sheep had got stuck in the thick mud, some for several days, and some even died in the mud.
Inspector Sarah Chambers from the RSPCA told the court how she had expected to see a sheep with its feet stuck in the mud, but described how she saw a sheep’s head sticking out of the ground instead. She also highlighted how there were bodies of several dead sheep in the same field.
Dee Stockley, the lead investigating officer from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, also gave evidence to the court. She highlighted that several of the sheep were utterly exhausted from trying to get free from the mud. She told of one sheep which was lying on its side and how it couldn’t get up – how its legs were moving but he wasn’t going anywhere.
Further evidence was given by the RSPCA, Lincolnshire Trading Standards and two independent vets.
On the verdict, Dee Stockley, comments: “The conditions these sheep were kept in fall well below acceptable welfare standards.
“Mr Green was given lots of advice and a number of opportunities to demonstrate that he would comply with the requirements of the animal welfare legislation and achieve the necessary standards of care. He, however, failed to do so and this left us no alternative but to bring this case to court.
“The sends a clear message to those who do not meet basic animal welfare needs – we will continue to take all necessary action to ensure that these acceptable standards of animal care are met.”