Bucks man found guilty of storing animal skulls on farm
A farmer in Buckinghamshire has been found guilty of five offences under animal by-products regulations after pigs' heads and sheep skulls were found on his property.
A testing team had originally attended Richard Piercy's farm in Water End, Stokenchurch, to conduct TB tests on his cattle, but their attention was drawn to the animal carcasses, in breach of regulatory laws.
When trading standards officers later attempted to carry out an inspection to investigate the situation, Mr Piercy refused them access to the farm, causing them to have to apply for a warrant and police escort in order to gain entry.
Based on the inspection, Mr Piercy was charged with five offences under animal by-products regulations, covering failure to dispose of animal by-products properly using a licensed collector, obstructing authorised officers from entering for an inspection and failure to produce records and documents when requested.
Mr Piercy appeared before High Wycombe magistrates on 28 October and pleaded not guilty on all counts. In mitigation, he told the court that he made practically no profit on the farm, and gave other extenuating circumstances.
Finding him guilty, District Judge Dodds fined Mr Piercy a total of £600, and ordered him to pay £400 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said:
"This prosecution demonstrates that we take offences of this nature very seriously, and our trading standards officers do their utmost to ensure the law relating to disposal of animal by-products is upheld."