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Family operating in Staffordshire Moorlands banned from keeping livestock

Bans for livestock keeping family following animal welfare convictions

A family of livestock keepers operating in the Staffordshire Moorlands have been banned from keeping animals and ordered to pay thousands of pounds in costs after pleading guilty to a string of animal welfare cases.

Douglas Bailey, 76, of Dial Lane, Congleton and Elizabeth Bailey, 77, of the same address, were sentenced on Friday 17 May at North Staffordshire Justice Centre along with daughter Ellen Bailey-Hulme, 47, of Swift Drive, Biddulph. A farm worker Alfred Holdcroft, 63, of Trent View, Biddulph Moor, was also sentenced after pleading guilty to similar offences.

Douglas Bailey was also handed a 14-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to wear and electronic monitoring tag for 56 days and pay £8,000 costs. He has been banned from keeping livestock indefinitely.

Elizabeth Bailey was given a 12-month community order and must wear an electronic monitoring tag for 28 days. She must pay £8,000 costs and has been banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Ellen Bailey Hulme was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. She was also ordered to do 60 hours’ unpaid work, banned from keeping animals for ten years and must pay £4,000 costs.

Alfred Holdcroft was given a £280 fine and ordered to pay £250 costs.

The court heard that when Staffordshire County Council’s animal health officers visited the Dial Lane holding in March 2017 they found herds of cows and sheep in a poor state of health, in addition to contaminated feed and cattle with no identification, which is against the law.

In May 2018 officers visited the property again, finding no improvement to the conditions the animals were kept in. Again, they found the sheep, lambs and cattle to be malnourished and generally in a poor state of health. They also discovered two dead lambs. Animal feed was contaminated and livestock had not been kept in dry conditions.

Ellen Bailey-Hulme pleaded guilty to 44 animal welfare offences for allowing animals in her care to fall sick and lame without veterinary treatment. She also pleaded guilty to three offences under animal feed regulations, two for breaching cattle identification regulations, four under welfare of farmed animal regulations and one under animal by-product regulations.

Douglas Bailey pleaded guilty on one offence of breaching a pervious order disqualifying him from keeping livestock. Elizabeth Bailey pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act which included keeping cattle with ingrowing horns, two for failing to comply with animal feed regulations and one offence under cattle identification regulations for failing to apply an ear tag to a cow.

Holdcroft pleaded guilty to one offence under animal feed regulations, two under animal by-product regulations and two under welfare of farmed animal regulations.

Staffordshire County Council’s communities leader Gill Heath said:

“The vast majority of livestock keepers act responsibly and play an important part in our rural economy.

“Unfortunately on rare occasions we do get cases like this and our trading standards team will act accordingly to protect animals and legitimate businesses.

“We are pleased this case has reached a successful conclusion.”