Ban for farmer who left dead sheep to rot

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A hill farmer who left her flock to trample over dead sheep has been banned from keeping livestock for a decade.

About 50 carcases were found in a ‘quagmire’ at the Castleton farm run by 68-year-old Jennifer Hutchinson, a court heard.

She had failed to move sheep to shelter when snow was forecast and a pregnant ewe was found curled up suffering hypothermia.

Judge Jonathan Gosling told Hutchinson: “We don’t know why so many died. They may have been malnourished or had some other difficulty or illness. You showed a total disregard for the sheep and cattle in your care.

“You left live animals to walk over bodies which were trampled into the mud.”

Hutchinson, of Oxlow House Farm, admitted leaving by-products of sheep and a belted Galloway cow in a manner in which other animals had access to them, between October 2011 and February 2012.

She was given a 15-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and must pay costs of £10,000.

Derby Crown Court heard there is a health risk when animals, including wild birds, are able to eat carcasses, and legislation is in place to prevent foot and mouth as well as BSE.