Tayside and Central Scotland

Perthshire farmer admits animal suffering charges

Welton of Creuchies farm
Image caption John Ferguson admitted leaving the rotting carcasses on land at Welton of Creuchies farm

A farmer has admitted leaving the rotting carcasses of more than 350 cows and sheep lying on his Perthshire estate.

John Ferguson, 50, left the bodies at Welton of Creuchies farm in Alyth over a five month spell last winter.

Perth Sheriff Court was told Ferguson admitted two charges relating to the unnecessary suffering of beasts on his farm estate.

Sentence was deferred until next year for the preparation of reports.

The court was told the farmer, who has a herd of 1,120 sheep, failed to provide a suitable environment for his livestock between 1 October last year and 23 February this year.

No treatment

He failed to remove 354 animal carcasses, having failed to provide adequate nutrition, a suitable diet or appropriate sheltered accommodation for his herd of cattle and flock of sheep.

Ferguson admitted failing to protect the animals from injury, suffering or disease by failing to get them treatment for liver fluke and failing to monitor their welfare.

It is understood the bodies of 340 sheep and 14 cattle were found on the estate.

He also admitted causing 95 cows and stirks (young heiffers or bullocks) unnecessary suffering by failing to provide them with adequate nutrition during the same time period.

Ferguson admitted that "by an act or omission" he caused the beasts unnecessary suffering by failing to provide treatment for lameness and liver fluke.

A third charge alleging he failed to hold 340 sheep and 14 cattle carcasses in a manner which would prevent other animals and birds getting access to them was dropped by the Crown.

Ferguson, who lives on the farm, was not present at Perth Sheriff Court.

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