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Peak farmer banned from keeping animals

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A High Peak farmer has been given a 15 month suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping livestock for ten years following a prosecution brought by Derbyshire County Council.

Jennie Hutchinson, 68, of Oxlow House Farm, Castleton, was sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of two charges brought under the Animal By Products (England) Regulations 2011, following a week-long hearing at Derby Crown Court.

Hutchinson also pleaded guilty to two further charges of failing to meet the needs of her sheep and cattle, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Derbyshire County Council trading standards officers first visited Hutchinson’s farm in February 2012 following a complaint by members of the public.

At the farm, which is at the top of Winnats Pass, over a period of two days, they found a total of 68 sheep and a calf carcass in various stages of decay and decomposition.

The court heard that trading standards officers found evidence that the needs of the sheep and cattle on the farm were not being met. The environment they lived in was not suitable nor were they being properly inspected.

Living animals were being fed on top of dead animals and fencing was poorly maintained, along with old wire and scrap machinery causing additional danger to the animals.

Sentencing Hutchinson, Judge Jonathan Gosling told her that her actions had “led to truly ghastly consequences” and that she had shown “complete indifference” throughout.

Hutchinson was also ordered to pay £10,000 costs.

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