A Kerry farmer was found guilty of what Judge David Waters called the “worst case of animal cruelty” he had ever encountered.
ohn C. Casey, 63, also known as Christy Casey, of Crosstown, Killarney, Co. Kerry, was convicted of ten felony counts in Killarney District Court by Judge David Waters in April following an investigation by a team of Department of Agriculture officials of Vet Louis Rearden.
Mr Casey had not attended the original hearing in April because of a mix-up of dates, but he was in court this week to hear Judge Waters blasted him for his treatment of the injured animal, as well as his failure to comply with a number of Department of Agriculture regulations in Regarding moving and tracking animals.
Judge Water recalled seeing video of the injured animal clearly showing the cow missing part of one of its hind legs with the bone protruding and the animal reeling in pain after Mr Rearden testified that he thought the animal might have been in this state of pain and distress for two months.
“I saw the video of the animal limping around with a missing leg and in great distress – in all my time dealing with cases of animal cruelty nothing comes close to this – there was a total disregard for the welfare of the animal animal – it is the worst case of cruelty I have ever encountered.”
Judge Waters found Casey guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a year-old Aberdeen Angus cross on rented properties in Corbally, Killorglin on dates between 19 November 2018 and 17 May 2019 in violation of Section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act 2013.
He also found Casey guilty of possession of the carcass of a dead cow on leased property in Corbally, Killorglin on 17 May 2019, in breach of Regulation 3 of the European Union (Animal By-Products) Regulation 2014.
Judge Waters also found Casey guilty of other offenses relating to the movement of cattle, including failing to notify the Department of Agriculture of the death of an animal within seven days, as required by the Animal Health and Welfare Regulations (Bovine Movement) Regulations 2014.
Judge Waters said Casey showed “no remorse” for his actions regarding animal cruelty and his failure to comply with animal transportation regulations, while also showing no understanding when he sentenced him to five months in prison and banned him for life from farming livestock.
Mr Rearden told the court how he and his colleagues from the Department of Agriculture inspected Casey’s rented farm near Killorglin and found the three-legged animal in considerable pain and distress, and together with fellow vets John McConville and Peter Byrne he decided that the cow should be euthanized.
Mr Casey disagreed so they called a local independent veterinarian, Owen Mangan, who agreed with them that the animal was in such pain and in such poor condition with no hope of recovery that the only option was to euthanize the animal, which they did also did so despite Casey’s protests.
Mr Rearden also testified that he smelled a very strong smell of rot nearly 30 meters from a trailer and as he approached it he found the carcass of a cow and when he asked Casey how long the animal had been dead replied Casey said that was the case and had been there “a strong week”.
He said he also found that 18 animals that had been tested in Casey’s herd in November 2018 had gone missing and Casey declined to provide their cattle passports and herd numbers, while there were also no records of the animals’ movement in Casey’s herd register as required.
Judge Waters said that while the Aberdeen Angus animal cruelty case was the most shocking aspect of the case, Casey’s failure to keep proper records of his herd movements was probably even more damaging as it tarnished the reputation of the Irish beef industry .
He said the Irish beef industry had an excellent reputation internationally and that was due to proper regulation and traceability, but Mr Casey had shown contempt for his fellow farmers and everyone in the beef sector by failing to keep records of his animals so that this reputation can be protected.
Prosecutor’s attorney Tom Rice BL told Judge Waters that the maximum sentence for animal cruelty is six months and that, even under animal welfare rules, he has the freedom to disqualify Casey for life from keeping or controlling cattle.
Following the judge’s decision to sentence him to jail and prohibit him from keeping livestock, Mr Casey’s attorney, Padraig O’Connell, said his client challenged Judge Waters’ decision to find him guilty of the ten felonies Although he did not attend the original hearing due to a mix-up of dates, he would appeal all convictions and challenge the charges in full in the Court of Appeals.
https://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/news/kerry-farmer-found-guilty-of-worst-case-of-animal-cruelty-ever-41733583.html Kerry farmer found guilty of ‘worst case of animal cruelty ever’