Derbyshire trading standards case sees Elton Moor farmer admit seven charges of posing health risk
An Elton Moor farmer has received a six-month suspended prison sentence after admitting breaking regulations and posing a risk to public and animal health.
Richard Hobday, 57, pleaded guilty to seven charges at Northern Derbyshire Magistrates Court in Chesterfield on Tuesday, March 2, following a successful prosecution brought by Derbyshire County Council’s trading standards team.
Six charges related to breaches of the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007, and systems designed to ensure meat is traceable through the food chain.
Judge Jonathan Taaffe told the court that the purpose of the regulations was “not to make life difficult for farmers, it is to protect the food chain and ensure accountability and public safety.”
He added that Hobday’s conduct was “bad practice at best and concealment at worst.”
In the first incident, Hobday had given a bull an ear tag previously used on another animal.
A second charge related to giving false or misleading information relating to the date of birth of a bull on an online tracing system.
Two further breaches saw Hobday failing to apply ear tags to a cow within 20 days of its birth and registering the birth of a calf before it was tagged.
The court heard details of a fifth charge that Hobday gave a rural payments agency inspector false or misleading information that a calf had lost its tags when he knew it had never been tagged.
Between December 2018 and September 2019 Hobday had also failed to record the movement of his cattle between fields within 36 hours, as required by law.
The seventh charge was that in July 2019 Hobday failed to clear away animal carcasses in a way which would prevent a risk to public and animal health, contrary to Animal By-Products Regulations 2013.
County Councillor Carol Hart, cabinet member for health and communities, said: “Our officers have worked hard to bring this successful prosecution and the result sends out a clear message to others that they must follow the strict regulations which are in place.”
The sentence is suspended for two years. Hobday, who lives in Alstonefield, was also ordered to pay court costs totalling £9,467.
“In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Nancy Fielder, editor.