An Ammanford man has been fined £220 for leaving cattle without water and at risk of injuring themselves.
Daniel Fawcett, of Blaengweche, Llandyfan, pleaded guilty at Carmarthen Magistrates Court to two offences under the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) Regulations 2007.
The court was told that last year between May 15 and June 16 that being a person responsible for farmed animals he failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that accommodation and fittings for securing animals was maintained so that there were no sharp edges or protrusions likely to cause injury to them.
During the same period Fawcett also failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the cattle had access to a suitable water supply.
The court heard that a vet and animal health officer visited the farm on November 12, 2010, after a welfare complaint and told Fawcett to improve conditions. Some improvements were made but issues still remained.
On December 1, 2010, the vet and animal health officer visited and asked Fawcett what work he had done. He said none. He was cautioned and said he was responsible for the day to day running of the farm.
When they visited on January 17, 2011, conditions were much improved but the doors to the dairy and sheds still needed to be repaired, and the machinery area still needed to be fenced off.
On March 30, 2011, they visited and found that the dairy door was still in the same condition of disrepair and leaning against the wall, and the door of the Atcost shed was still in the same condition of disrepair, with sharp edges and gaps allowing the young stock to poke their heads out.
On May 16, 2011, the animal health officer visited Blaengweche and found nine calves in two pens with no fresh drinking water available, nine heifers with no water.
The galvanized tank that should have held fresh drinking water had a brown layer of dirty water on the bottom and the cows were crowded around it in need of water.
There was a blue coloured barrel cut in half for water but it was empty.
All animals housed on this farm are reliant on water being supplied to them by Mr Fawcett either by hose pipe or carrying buckets to fill the barrel or buckets as there is no direct water system in place. Fawcett said that the calf had been born the night before and he did not have a place to put the cow for it to give birth.
They visited again on June 16, 2011, and found the doors to the buildings were still in a state of repair that could cause injury to the cattle. Forty-year-old Fawcett was fined £110 for each offence and was ordered to pay £400 costs and a £15 victim’s surcharge.
The council’s executive board member for public protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “This case illustrates the consequences of failing to look after farmed animals properly. The farming sector is facing huge pressures in the financial recession, but there can be no excuse for not supplying drinking water to animals.
“I am pleased with the outcome of this prosecution and with the penalties imposed by the Magistrates. I hope that it serves as a warning to everyone having the responsibility for animals, that they must maintain their welfare at all times.”