Sheep farmer ordered to pay £4,000 to ISPCA in cruelty case
The Nationalist, 30/3/2001
A county Carlow farmer had a two-month prison sentece suspended and was ordered to pay £4,000 to the ISPCA, after being convicted of cruelly ill-treating a number of animals on his farm.

A county Carlow farmer had a two-month prison sentence suspended and was ordered to pay £4,000 to the ISPCA, after being convicted of cruelly ill-treating a number of animals on his farm. Before the March 22 sitting of Tullow District Court was Mr. James Cleary, whose address was given as Aghade, Kilbride, County Carlow. He was charged with allowing 22 sheep to wander upon the road at Aghade, Kilbride, on April 5, 1999, and for allowing a carcass of livestock to remain unburied on a field, accessible to a dog(s), on March 22, 1999. Mr. Cleary was also before the court for cruelly ill-treating a number of animals, i.e., his sheep, on the farm and it was on this charge that Mr. Cleary received his suspended prison sentence. All other matters were taken into consideration. This was an adjourned case, to allow County Council veterinary surgeon Elizabeth McCollum to give evidence regarding Mr. Cleary’s operation of the farm. Ms McCollum said she felt worried, in light of the current situation with Foot and Mouth disease, that this farmer was only doing what was necessary to be done. The defendant was ordered at a previous court sitting to dip his sheep twice. However, Ms McCollum highlighted that Mr. Cleary only carried out the second dipping on the day previous to the court. Judge Donnchadh O’Buachalla heard that Mr. Cleary had reduced the number of sheep on his farm and that local vet Paddy MacDonald was working with the farmer in addressing the problems. Garda Liam Shanahan said that Mr. Cleary had been negligent and that he had to be reminded constantly to look after his animals. Finding it intolerable that the defendant was negligent in the management of his sheep in the current climate, Judge Ó Buachalla called on local vet Paddy MacDonald to give evidence. Mr. MacDonald said he would make himself available for the next month, but affirmed that there must be a cut-off time for this problem to be resolved. He said he was “quite satisfied” that Mr. Cleary had undertaken the sheep-dipping regime laid down by the court and highlighted that Mr. Cleary’s situation was brought about through overproduction. As a result of this reduction, the court heard that Mr. Cleary incurred a financial loss, estimated at approximately £7,500. Along with a two-month suspended prison sentence and the contribution of £4,000 to be made to the ISPCA, Mr. Cleary, who had a similar previous conviction dating back to 1996, was ordered to pay witness expenses of £850, and bound to the peace for two years. The matter was further adjourned until April 24.