A Dunmanway farmer has been banned from farming for 10 years and received a two-year suspended jail term for neglect of cattle and failing to give them enough clean drinking water.
Judge Helen Boyle imposed the sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Trevor Deane of Lettergorman, Dunmanway, Co Cork, who pleaded guilty to both charges.
Trevor Deane, who is aged around 40, admitted that he failed to provide a sufficient quantity of wholesome uncontaminated drinking water to bovine animals under his control and neglecting or being reckless regarding the health of bovine animals on February 4, 2021.
Barrister Alan O’Dwyer said that since July the defendant had completely de-stocked his farm. He said the farmer felt deeply ashamed at the deplorable condition to which he had allowed his farm to deteriorate.
Veterinary inspector Michael Kelleher found nine dead animals in various stages of decomposition in one shed on Trevor Deane’s farm in February last year and said that one of the animals had only died recently.
He said the other animals appeared to have been dead for some months. In a second shed, he found seven dead animals — once again some having died recently and others being dead for months.
The inspector found that there was no water available to the animals.
Carcases and skeletal remains were found in a field and two calves were found in what were described as filthy conditions.
On a second farm operated by the farmer at Coppeen in West Cork, there was no issue with animal welfare.
The veterinary inspector returned to the Dunmanway farm a year later and found there was still no water available to animals on the farm.
However, by June 2021, matters had been turned around and there were no further animal welfare concerns.
There were issues of concern again in March this year when untagged calves and one badly emaciated cow were observed. Then in May, there were untagged animals that still had not been registered, and there were three calf carcases on the farm and no available water.
Mr Deane had completely destocked by July. The inspector expressed the view that he should not be allowed to keep livestock.
Mr O'Dwyer said that at the time of the offences, Mr Deane was experiencing a number of personal issues and tragedies and that there was an element of “putting his head in the sand”.
“There is no excuse. He is ashamed and apologetic. He is hoping to let out the land and is not involved in any kind of husbandry,” Mr O’Dwyer said.
Judge Boyle said: “You failed to provide water which is fundamental to the survival of all animals. You caused needless suffering to animals you were responsible for.”
As well as banning him from keeping livestock for a period of 10 years, she also fined him €750.