Calne poultry farmer in animal cruelty case banned from keeping birds (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Calne poultry farmer in animal cruelty case banned from keeping birds
10:10am Monday 7th October 2013 in News
Poultry farmer Allan Ogg, who kept chickens and ducks in squalid conditions, has been banned from keeping the birds for two years.
Some of the hens were so desperate for water they were spotted pecking at a breeze block wall to drink rain which had seeped through.
Now, after being convicted of animal cruelty for the second time in just over five years, Ogg has been disqualified from keeping poultry.
The 55-year-old of Riverside, Quemerford, Calne, has also been put on eight week suspended sentence and told to do 250 hours of unpaid work.
Edward Elton, for Wiltshire Council, said animal health officers went to Ogg's smallholding in March last year following a complaint.
When they got there they found four birds which needed to be destroyed and on a return visit found the area in a poor state.
He said the ground was covered in dirty bedding, manure and discarded plastic bags and the lighting cable was dangerously on the ground.
In the stock buildings there were 12 pens containing hundreds of white ducks as well as domestic hens and cockerels.
Many were short of food or water or both and almost all were on compacted bedding which was dirty with faeces while some were overstocked.
He said many hens were seen pecking at a green patch on the breeze block wall in one of the pens where there was not water.
Mr Elton said: "Rain water was penetrating the wall at that point. They were pecking the damp wall to obtain drinking water."
Almost all of the birds on the farm were thirsty which was illustrated when water and put down and they all flocked to drink.
In one of the other pens Mr Elton said a lame bird was found limping, and in another a duck which was unable to stand.
He told the court that when a follow up visit was made in May all of the ducks had gone, suggesting a commercial aspect to the operation.
Ogg pleaded not guilty to four animal cruelty offences but was convicted following a trial at magistrates.
In 2008 he was convicted of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to hens and put on a community order.
The latest case was before the crown court as he was appealing against the sentence imposed.
James Bromige, for Ogg, said he was mainly concerned about the ban from having poultry as it affected his ability to earn money.
Not only did it mean he could not rear the birds but it also prevented him working transporting poultry for others, which he earned money from.
He said he was currently claiming benefits and living in a caravan on his land as the sentence prevented him from working.
But Judge Douglas Field, who was sitting with two magistrates, rejected the appeal and upheld the ban.
He said: "We find there was more than medium neglect in this case. There was good evidence of prolonged neglect.
"We are very conscious of the deplorable state in which these animals were kept."
As well as upholding the ban he also ordered Ogg pay £120 of the council's £844 costs in fighting the appeal which will be added to the £500 he was ordered to pay from the trial.