A BROOKEBOROUGH farmer has been given a two month suspended prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to failing to give information about a herd register and failing to provide information to a cattle regulations officer.
Michael Boyle, 63, of Lisolvan Park, Lismalore, was charged with the two offences when he appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday.
The case arose from a number of discrepancies found during a Cattle Identification Inspection.
On November 9 last year an officer from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development called to Boyle’s small farm in Brookeborough enquiring about a herd register and the location of his cattle.
The inspector presented a notice – which Boyle had previously signed – stating that he must tell the department about all his herd and where they are kept.
The inspector read the contents of the signed notice to Boyle who replied that he understood what the department was asking.
The inspector then explained to Boyle what information he required from the farmer but the defendant still refused to comply with the notice.
After a number failed attempts to get information about the herd movements from Boyle, the inspector then passed on his mobile number to Boyle telling him that if he changed his mind to make contact with him or the department.
The inspector then went to a local vet for more information about cattle holdings and was told about a place thirty minutes outside Brookeborough.
The inspector then made the short journey from Brookeborough and arrived at the holding spot to find that the defendant had also travelled there.
A search of the small farm found a number of cattle with ear tags however there were a number of cattle without any identification tags.
The inspector then carried out further checks with Boyle but the accused continued to refuse giving any information to the officer.
Some time later the Forestry Service reported seeing a number of cattle trespassing on their land, and when Boyle was contacted about the matter he denied that the animals belonged to him.
The court heard that Boyle was invited to attend a number of interviews at the local police station but the interviews were delayed because Boyle was unwell.
It is believed that the incident surrounded the whereabouts of eight animals.
DARD has previously highlighted the importance of complying with the department’s orders as properly maintained herd registers form an integral part of the animal’s tractability.
District Judge Nigel Broderick was concerned that the cattle would go through the food chain however this was dismissed by the defence who didn’t believe that they would be.
Defence solicitor Myles McManus said that his client had then obliged the department’s requests and handed over all known documents about his cattle to the inspector.
“He has gone to great lengths to try and satisfy the department. He tried to engage with the interviews but he was ill and unable to attend,” he said.
Judge Broderick described the offences as serious saying: “It’s important that animals of this kind are accounted for by the department. I will reflect the seriousness of the offence in the sentencing.”
Boyle was given a two month prison sentence suspended for three years for the two offences as well as £15 offender levy.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition