An experienced poultry keeper and his partner in St Austell have been banned from owning or keeping poultry for ten years after allowing their animals to fall into a ‘shocking’ condition. It does make you think very hard about the provenance of your food!
Michael John Thomas Jackson, 30 and partner Joanna Caroline Lutey, 42, of Boldventure Close, St Austell pleaded guilty to a number of animal welfare and related charges for which there is really no excuse.
Officials from Cornwall Councils Quality Standards and Animal Health Team and Veterinary Inspectors from the Animal Health and Plant Agency visited Jackson and Lutey’s land at Boscoppa on a number of occasions.
Chickens and rabbits were being housed in extremely small and dirty, rodent infested, barren cages.
The defendants were failing to meet even the basic needs of their animals by failing to treat sick birds and, failing to provide their birds and rabbits with water, feed and clean litter.
Passing sentence, District Judge told the couple the state of the birds was shocking and that the defendants should not have let it get out of control.
She gave the defendants credit for their early guilty pleas and could see that enormous efforts had been made. We are not told what these efforts were but leaving animals without basic food and water in barren cages doesn’t strike me as an ‘enormous effort’. An early guilty plea always helps reduce the penalty though.
After considering the evidence before her Judge Baker had to take into account the welfare of the birds and banned both Jackson and Lutey for ten years from owning or keeping poultry. Not sure whether they are allowed to still keep rabbits in such shameful conditions.
Jackson was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and Lutey was order to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work.
The couple have been ordered to dispose of their birds within two months and, ordered to pay the Council £4,000 towards costs.
Sue James, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Public Protection said: “We do try to support people across Cornwall to comply with the relevant legislation when it comes to keeping animals.
“However, when we find cases of neglect, we are duty bound to take formal action to ensure the welfare of the animals and to protect the reputation of the Cornish livestock industry.”