Thorpeness: Farmer’s ban after causing suffering to his cattle

A SUFFOLK farmer has spoken of his regret after admitting causing ‘unnecessary suffering’ to his cattle by not feeding them.

Ian Ogilvie - whose family still owns much of Thorpeness - was given a suspended two-month jail term, fined �2,200 and told to do 250 hours of unpaid community work. He was also handed a lifetime ban from owning farmed animals.

The 38-year-old, who lives in Thorpeness, earlier pleaded guilty to 11 charges relating to cattle held at land near Aldringham Church. They include causing unnecessary suffering, failing to give his cattle adequate food and failing to report deaths.

Ogilvie, speaking after being sentenced at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday, said he had fully co-operated with the authorities.

“It was a bad period in our lives and nothing was intentional, that’s pretty much it,” he added. “It’s been a terrible time, I know it’s not a good thing but I just want to get on with things.”

Hillside Animal Sanctuary near Norwich - which took in 37 cows and six calves from Ogilvie and nursed them back to health - said initial pictures of the cattle had shown them looking very thin and weak.

Wendy Valentine, founder of the sanctuary, said one calf had died shortly after arriving.

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She said: “I think they had just been left out in the fields and had not been fed sufficiently or at all. Some of them were emaciated.

“I was just so pleased we were able to take them in, some of the cows were pregnant.

“We gave them basic food and care and they improved in no time at all.”

Trading standards officers had been closely monitoring Ogilvie’s cattle after a member of the public raised concerns about their welfare in February last year.

Suffolk County Council said despite many visits to help Ogilvie resolve the situation animals were “showing signs of distress” and were “visibly thin” when vets visited the following month.

After negotiations with Ogilvie the animals were signed over to Suffolk Trading Standards. Officers then worked with him and - with the assistance of a neighbouring farmer - the animals’ condition improved.

Once the cattle were fit to be moved, they were then transported to Hillside Animal Sanctuary, which offered them a permanent home.

Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “We would like to pass on our sincerest gratitude to Hillside Animal Sanctuary for providing these animals with a safe and healthy environment in which to recover.

“We have since visited Hillside and are happy to say that some of the cattle are completely unrecognisable with the extra weight they have gained and their glossy coats.

“Not everybody knows that Suffolk Trading Standards play a key role in promoting and maintaining standards of animal health and welfare in Suffolk – we work closely with organisations to ensure that farm animals in our county are kept in healthy and safe conditions and that the owners are able to look after them properly.”

Anyone concerned about the welfare of farm animals in Suffolk should contact Trading Standards on 08456 040506.