A year-old male Angus crossbreed staggered on three legs in a field near Killorglin, Co. Kerry, “trembling in pain” when agricultural inspectors and a Department of Agriculture vet called to conduct a farm inspection.
The animal was missing the underside of one of its hind legs, with bones sticking out. It was a warm May day and although the animal had plenty of grass it could not get to the water trough 250 meters away, Killarney District Court said on Monday.
An “overwhelming stench” had come from a trailer in which the carcass of a cow had been parked, which was believed to have been dead for several weeks, Killarney District Court was also told.
John C. Casey, also known as Christy Casey, of Crosstown, Killarney, aged 62, was subpoenaed for animal cruelty, failure to bury a cow carcass and violating various regulations.
He had been informed of the hearing, which was scheduled for a special time, but was not in court, did not respond to text messages and phone calls, and his legal team had not received instructions, the court was told.
About 14 witnesses were assembled “from across the country,” prosecutor Tom Rice said, for the special day session, Mr. Rice said.
Attorney Katie O’Connell for Mr Casey requested an adjournment.
Department of Agriculture veterinarian Louis Reardon said he was accompanied by a large number of colleagues when they entered the country to conduct an inspection on May 17, and Christy Casey/John C. Casey was present.
Farming land at Corbally, Killorglin, was not owned by the accused but leased by him in an informal arrangement, the vet said.
Mr Casey refused to give his address.
There was a strong sense of decay emanating from a trailer on which lay a dead cow, partially covered with straw.
“It was an overwhelming stench. The carcass was quite desiccated and desiccated and I assumed it had been there for a number of weeks,” said Mr Reardon.
Under European legislation, a dead animal must be taken to the slaughterhouse immediately and brain tissue from all cows over the age of four – tissue that degenerates quickly – must be examined for BSE, explained Mr Reardon.
The defendant cooperated “to a certain extent” but then became abusive.
It was not possible to bring any of the animals to inspect, so they had to go to the field, where they found a three-legged animal.
“He was missing the lower part of one of his hind legs, Judges,” Mr Reardon said, describing in detail how the year-old Angus cross was “trembling with pain”. Video evidence was handed over to Judge David Waters.
The stump was quite swollen and the bone was sticking out. It was mid-May and fly season was about to start and the open sore was becoming infected with maggots, Mr Reardon said.
All weight was shifted to the right hind leg and the tendons were strained.
“I thought it had been there for several months,” the department’s veterinarian said of the animal’s condition.
“There was no prospect of recovery,” he also said.
A local vet was called and it was decided to euthanize the animal. Mr Casey spoke out strongly against it, said Mr Reardon.
Three separate subpoenas addressed this matter under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, including causing unnecessary suffering.
18 animals had been moved and no cattle passports, which are required for cattle to be transported, were provided, Mr Reardon said.
On a subsequent inspection on July 9, most of the animals on the Killorglin farm were not on the farm register, which was found to be “wildly inaccurate” and “many” of the animals on the register were absent.
Ministry inspectors were told they were in a camp outside Macroom and had been stolen or had disappeared.
Attorney Katie O’Connell, acting for Eimear Griffin, told Judge Waters she could not cross-examine because she had no instructions from her client.
Casey was convicted on ten subpoenas from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Navy under EU and Irish rules.
Judge Waters adjourned the sentence to allow Mr Casey to issue further instructions and present mitigating evidence.
Although prosecutors had indicated they would not seek a custodial sentence, the judge said there was a possibility he would consider a custodial sentence in the animal cruelty subpoenas
He adjourned sentencing to June 7 in Killarney.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/courts/farmer-could-face-jail-in-kerry-animal-cruelty-case-41586151.html The farmer could face jail time in the case of animal cruelty in Kerry