Farmer failed to feed sheep

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A SHEFFIELD sheep farmer has received a four-month suspended prison sentence and been banned from keeping the animals for 10 years after admitting failing to feed his flock properly.

Neil Ian Johnson – also known as Najim Ud Din - aged 56, of Albert Road, Heeley, was prosecuted by Derbyshire County Council over sheep and cattle he kept at Hognaston, near Ashbourne.

Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court heard repeated complaints led to a council trading standards officer and Government vet visiting Johnson’s flock of 52 sheep in December last year.

An inspection by the vet found the animals were undersized, weak, thin and verging on emaciation, the court was told.

In the vet’s opinion, the poor condition of the animals was due to the failure of Johnson to provide adequate feed to his stock over a prolonged period.

The court heard that fields were littered with rusty barbed wire, discarded baler twine and loose sheep netting in which animals had become entwined.

On a return visit the following day, one of the sheep was ‘alive but lifeless’ and in such poor condition it was immediately destroyed.

Johnson declined to have his own vet examine the sheep.

Johnson had ignored repeated advice from vets and trading standards officers.

He pleaded guilty to seven charges of failing to ensure the dietary needs of his sheep were met and one of keeping sheep in a poor and harmful environment

Johnson was sentenced to a four-month prison sentence for each offence – to run concurrently – suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work, disqualified from keeping sheep for 10 years, and made subject of a Deprivation Order – removing the remaining 152 sheep from his ownership.

He plans to appeal.