Farmer Prisoned After Starving Animals Found Eating Plastic

Magistrates told the Gloucestershire farmer he showed a 'cavalier attitude towards the welfare of his animals' after he pleaded guilty to over eight offenses
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According to officials, a Gloucestershire farmer has been prisoned after his livestock was found eating plastic wrapping because there was no other food available.

Animal health inspectors visited the farm in Lydbrook last year after they received a tip-off from a member of the public regarding poor living conditions.

No access to clean drinking water

Officers discovered dead pigs and a dead calf and were worried that one pig carcass had been there for so long only its skeleton remained.

Sows and piglets had been kept in a shed with high ammonia levels and had no access to clean drinking water.

18 weeks in prison

On January 2, Keith Barber pleaded guilty to eight animal welfare offenses, and seven other offenses, including four under the Cattle Identification Regulations, when he attended Cheltenham Magistrates Court.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, was ordered to pay £2,500 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £115.

Previously, Barber had been formally cautioned after failing to identify calves born on his holding within the required time; he also broke the law by failing to ear tag calves within 20 days of their birth.

'Failed in his duty of care'

Cabinet member, councilor Dave Norman, said: “Gloucestershire trading standards inspectors and most responsible farmers take pride in maintaining animal welfare standards in the county.

“In this case Mr Barber has failed in his duty of care to his animals, despite receiving advice from Trading Standards, leaving us with no option other than to prosecute.”