HP, Surrey County Council, Trading Standards

Surrey farmer given suspended jail sentence for animal cruelty

A Surrey farmer has been given a suspended jail sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to cattle.

James Goffin, 36, of Tandridge Lane, Lingfield, admitted six charges of animal cruelty following an investigation by Surrey County Council’s trading standards officers.

Goffin was found to have castrated six bulls in an unlawful way causing them unnecessary pain and suffering.

Trading standards officers were alerted by a concerned member of the public who noticed that several cattle at Goffin’s farm appeared to be injured with blood on the back of their legs.

The officers arranged a visit to the farm with a vet from the Animal and Plant Health Agency who found that six bulls had been castrated and required urgent medical treatment, which led to them being given antibiotics and pain relief.

Appearing at Redhill Magistrates Court on Tuesday 21 June, Goffin pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act following a prosecution brought by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards*.

Mitigating for Goffin, Keith Goacher said the farmer, who was of previous good character, had not intended to cause suffering to the animals and was unaware that the method he was using to castrate the bulls was illegal.

Magistrates accepted it was not Goffin’s intention to harm the animals but said he must have realised they were suffering and failed to take sufficient steps to address this.

Goffin was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,572 and an £80 victim surcharge, taking the total amount he must pay to £1,632.

Richard Walsh, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Localities and Community Wellbeing, said: “We won’t hesitate to take action to protect animals from harm and unnecessary suffering and ensure high standards are maintained by the county’s farms.”

* Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards operate a joint trading standards service

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A cable tie found on one of the bulls

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One of the bulls found on the farm

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