Smallholder prosecuted as malnourished pigs and carcasses found on property

The Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards has prosecuted a smallholder from Torworth, near Retford in Nottinghamshire, after malnourished pigs, animal carcasses, and free-roaming chickens were discovered on her property.

Trading Standards Officers and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Veterinary Officers found the carcasses of a goat and pig on the smallholding, which had been left rotting and were decomposed to skin and bone, even though the law states that carcasses must be collected without undue delay to prevent risks to public and animal health.

Severely malnourished pigs were also discovered on the property; the pigs were searching the land for food and water, however none was available. Chickens had also been left to freely roam the property, regardless of the national measures which require poultry to be housed, due to the risk of avian influenza.

On June 16, 2022, Gemma Ruth Slinger was sentenced at the Mansfield Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to several welfare and animal by-product offences. She was issued with £350 fine and a 10-year ban from keeping farmed livestock.

Councillor John Cottee, cabinet member for communities at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Our Trading Standards Officers work to assist farmers, smallholders and businesses across Nottinghamshire, to comply with legal requirements which are in place to protect animal and public health. Where we find a disregard for these requirements, we take formal action.”

“Failing to house chickens and remove animal carcasses, as found in this case, risks spreading disease and as a result poses a risk to animal and human health. Causing unnecessary suffering to animals such as the pigs found in this case is unacceptable.”

“This is an excellent result for our Trading Standards team and should serve as a warning to others that we will not tolerate a lack of safeguarding of farm animal health and welfare,” Councillor Cottee concluded.

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