A FARMER and animal transporter has been handed a suspended prison sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

A council animal welfare officer was carrying out a routine inspection at a slaughter house in the Barnsley when he noticed one of the cows owned by Keith Philip Allen was in a poor state of health.

The officer requested an examination of the cow which confirmed that transporting the cow with a badly infected eye had caused unnecessary suffering and the decision was taken to have the animal put down immediately.

Allen, of Malton, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at magistrates’ court recently.

The Chair of Magistrates told Allen that the offences were aggravated by the defendant’s previous convictions for similar offences against animals and the particular distress caused to the animal in this case.

Allen was handed a four month suspended prison sentence for each of the offences. He was fined £2,000 for each offence, ordered to pay costs of £1,689.36 and a £15 victim surcharge.