Feeds

Farmer fined for ignoring cow's 'psychological needs'

Bovine kept in dark

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A West Yorks farmer has been slapped with a £150 fine for keeping a cow in a darkened barn and therefore failing to 'meet the psychological needs' of the bovine.

Ronald Norcliffe, 65, was nabbed under the Animal Welfare Act in August 2008 when operatives from Kirklees Environmental Health department and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) visited his Scammonden farm on a tuberculosis test mission.

According to the Telegraph, they asked Norcliffe where he intended to keep his the cow and its calf in winter. He indicated a barn under his house, but was informed it was "unsuitable because it had little natural light, no electric lights and the doors were kept closed".

A Defra vet served an improvement notice, and Norcliffe, who has no electricity in his own abode, said he'd run some lights from a generator. However, during two further inspections the lights "were not switched on".

Cue a short break from farming for Norcliffe to appear before Huddersfield magistrates. Bob Carr, defending, was evidently less than impressed with the prosecution. He ridiculed: "I don't know what the psychological or ethological needs of these cows are and I'm sure Mr Norcliffe doesn't either.

"I still have no idea how much lighting is appropriate for a cow - and this man, who has had 30 years of farming experience and is keeping these animals healthy, is none the wiser. In my respectful submission this didn't do any harm whatsoever."

Magistrates disagreed, and we suspect Norcliffe is now balancing the cost of a few gallons of petrol and a light bulb against the aforementioned £150 fine, £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

And before you lot go off on one about how the country's gone completely bonkers, a Kirklees Council spokesman clarified that this was the first Animal Welfare Act prosecution it had brought in nine years.

He elaborated: "Our animal health and welfare officers paid several visits to Mr Norcliffe and worked hard to find simple, low-cost solutions - some as simple as cleaning windows and trimming back bushes obscuring the windows which could have been easily introduced. We offered help and advice, but Mr Norcliffe failed to improve conditions for his livestock." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.