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Newent father and son banned from keeping goats and sheep

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: March 03, 2014

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GOAT farmers who ignored their own vet’s advice have been banned from keeping the animals for 10 years.

Some 35 of the animals in a 700-strong herd had to be put down because Gerald and Paul Jones didn’t look after their feet properly.

The father and son were sentenced yesterday to a 10 year ban on keeping goats and sheep, and 100 hours of unpaid work each.

After a trial which ended last month, they must also pay almost £10,000 in prosecution costs between them.

Stroud Magistrates’ Court bench chairman Philip Judge said it had not been an ‘easy or a nice case’, as he told them they most stump up £9,500 in prosecution costs between them, after they were found guilty of nine animal welfare charges.

“The ban from keeping sheep and goats will last for 10 years,” said Mr Judge, after the bench rejected a prosecution application for a ban to be imposed on keeping other farm animals too.

“You said yourself they are very similar. We note however the reference from a gentleman who says you have kept cows for many years with no problems.”

On Thursday, February 20, at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court they were found guilty of eight causing unnecessary suffering to goats, and one charge of failing in their duty of care to livestock.

Evidence from Trading Standards officers was presented to the court that lame goats’ feet were first cleaned with a corrosive disinfectant, then a bandage-type material was applied that had been soaked in a zinc sulphate substance normally used in foot bath.

The foot was then taped up with impermeable silage tape which allowed the bacteria that causes foot rot to thrive and when the tape and bandage was removed, most of the hoof had disintegrated.

During a visit to the farm in Oxenhall near Newent on December 10, 2012, numerous goats were lame. The majority of those had their feet bandaged.

The prosecution said advice had been provided since 2008 regarding the correct treatment for foot rot and although it was followed for a short time, they reverted to using their own method.

Gerald Jones said that one of the goats had lost the bottom of its foot as a result of him using the bandaging, but thought this had happened because he had put the bandage too far up the leg and left it on too long.

On a separate visit on March 22, 2013 one goat, which was initially thought to be lying dead among milking goats, was still alive and found to be suffering from severe and chronic mastitis. It was out down, along with a total of 34 others.

The prosecution was brought by Gloucestershire County Council trading standards after the pair failed to follow advice from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, trading standards officers and from their own vets, relating to the appropriate treatment for foot rot.

The pair told the court last month that they no longer keep goats.

In addition to the £9,500 prosecution costs, they must pay a £60 victim surcharge each. They will pay the costs within 12 months.

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