Feeds

Farmer fined for ignoring cow's 'psychological needs'

Bovine kept in dark

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms
Is that an ARMADILLO in your PANTS or are you just pleased to see me?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.