West Suffolk farmer risked spread of deadly disease to cattle and humans

Published

A farmer who risked spreading Bovine Tuberculosis by failing to appropriately dispose of farmed animal remains was successfully prosecuted by Trading Standards.

Wayne Parker, 32, from Mildenhall, of Wayne Parker Farming pleaded guilty today (5 February 2020) to 8 counts of animal health offences at Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Mr Parker has been given a 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge and Suffolk County Council Trading Standards were also awarded full costs.

Mr Parker was charged on counts under the Animal Health Act 1981, the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013 for contravening disposal requirements, the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007 for failing to keep records, notifying movement and deaths.

Amongst his offences, Mr Parker moved large quantities of cattle without following the required processes, including Bovine Tuberculosis testing. This disease is mainly spread into new herds through the movement of infected cattle that have not been detected. He also risked spread of the disease by failing to dispose of animal by-products in the correct manner.

When sentencing Mr Parker, the magistrates bench said:

“The court finds the matters serious and custody is warranted, [the offences are] of such high risk and economic harm.”

A Suffolk County Council Trading Standards spokesperson said:

“There are many potential dangerous consequences to Mr Parker’s actions, one of the most serious being the contravention of the Tuberculosis (England) Order 2014.

“Bovine Tuberculosis is contagious amongst cattle, other mammals and humans. It is a disease which is taken very seriously by us.

“His disregard for keeping the required records and movements of cattle, has impacted other people in the supply chain. 18 other businesses had cattle passports withdrawn due to lack of traceability, and as a result may suffer significant financial loss.”

Councillor Richard Rout, cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said:

“Mr Parker’s offences were extremely serious. We will continue to pursue such prosecutions in our duty to protect both human and animal health, and Suffolk’s rural economy.

“His actions demanded an immediate and extensive response from our officers and many of our partner agencies. I thank those colleagues who have supported us from the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Environment Agency, Rural Payments Agency, British Cattle Movement Service and Cambridgeshire Trading Standards.”

If you are concerned about the activities of a livestock keeper or the welfare of livestock you can report it, in confidence, by contacting the national Citizens Advice Helpline on 0808 223 1133.

If you suspect a case of Bovine Tuberculosis, you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.