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Animal transportation, floods and the US farm bill

Duration:
13 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 14 February 2014

The director of an animal transport company has been fined and given a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals - in a case which may pave the way for more prosecutions.

The district judge ruled that anyone involved in the transportation of animals could be prosecuted over animal welfare issues, whether or not they were aware that offences have been committed.

While the RSPCA welcomed the ruling, saying the case exposed the 'horrific' nature of the trade, David Kirwan, a senior partner and head of the agricultural unit at the defence solicitor's firm, warned it could lead to mass prosecutions within the transportation trade.

In a heated discussion, Mr Kirwan shares his views on the ramifications of the ruling with David Bowles from the RSPCA.

Continuing our coverage of the floods - and how farmers are coping - Charlotte visits Colin Rayner who farms near Windsor in the Thames Valley. More than half of the 2,500 acre family farm is currently underwater.

And the US finally has a Farm Bill. Those ranchers hit by the October blizzard 'Storm Atlas' will finally be able to claim compensation for their losses, in some cases up to half of their herds. Charlotte catches up with Larry Stomprud, one of the ranchers interviewed by Farming Today during our coverage of the disaster in South Dakota. He explains what difference the Farm Bill will make to livestock businesses.

Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced in Bristol by Anna Jones.

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