Farmer admits cattle charges

A farmer has said he is getting rid of his herd of cattle after pleading guilty to 16 offences under the cattle identification regulations.

Eric Anderson, 65, of Budle Farm, at Bamburgh, admitted four offences of failing to notify the British Cattle Movement Service of the birth of calves, 11 counts of providing false information about animals and one charge of providing false information about the death of an animal.

At Berwick Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday ,Lisa Bishop, prosecuting for Northumberland County Council, said the regulations were in place to make sure every animal can be traced from birth to death. But Anderson failed to do this.

The court heard that on June 13 last year, animal health inspector Rod Chisholm visited Budle Farm, which had 36 cattle registered.

However ,Mr Chisholm identified that there were 52 and Anderson was interviewed. He said the records would be provided, which he did the next day, but were not complete.

Two days later, Anderson tried to make passport applications for four calves born in December 2012. But applications must be made within 27 days of birth.

The council also found that Anderson had given the wrong identification numbers for cattle when applying for passports.

Mrs Bishop added that the details given about the death of an animal related to a Charolais with no horns, but Anderson gave details for a Limousin cross with horns.

She added that Anderson was fined for similar offences in 2012, and received a conditional discharge in 2009 while also being cautioned for like charges in 2007.

Defending, Ian O’Rourke said Anderson had been going through difficult time in his life.

He said: “He tells me he is going to get rid of these cattle which will probably come as a great relief to a lot of people.

“He is hoping to have them sold by the end of the year and rent out his fields.

“This whole thing has been a disaster from start to finish.”

Mr O’Rourke said that after Anderson’s appearance at court in 2012 his sister was due to take over registering animals, however, she was diagnosed with cancer and died and he had got behind on the paperwork.

The court also heard that Anderson works five days a week and runs a holiday park.

Magistrates said they felt the charges were too serious for a fine and adjourned the case for reports until September 4.