Farmer faces £40,000 bill for slaughtering breach

A FARMER caught selling illegally slaughtered beef through his unregistered farm shop has been ordered to pay more than £40,000 by a court.

Up before Northampton Magistrates Court on Friday (January 20) Clive Patrick Lawrence, owner of Sheltons Farm Shop, East Haddon, Northamptonshire, was fined £27,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £16,949.

Mr Lawrence pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the identification and registration of his cattle, failure to comply with regulations regarding the disposal of animal by-products, and 13 food safety and hygiene offences, including failure to protect food from contamination that likely made the food unfit for human consumption.

In December 2010, Northamptonshire County Council trading standards and Daventry District Council’s (DDC) environmental health team conducted an inspection of Shelton Farm Shop, the animals and farm premises.

During the inspection, a large quantity of illegally slaughtered meat was seized by DDC’s environmental health team; the meat was subsequently condemned by Daventry Magistrates Court, who ordered its destruction. 

Trading standards officers also found the remains of a cow on the site of a previous bonfire as well as a number of animals without proper identification documents.

Coun Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for environment said: “This is a very serious matter; by not complying with regulations regarding cattle identification and failing to dispose of the remains of a dead animal in the proper way this farmer was risking public health and breaking the law. 

“I am pleased trading standards have been able to take this action and worked with colleagues at Daventry District Council to achieve a successful result.

“The regulations are there to prevent outbreak of disease; trading standards will not tolerate this type of activity and will take action against those not complying with the law.”

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