Saintfield farmers jailed as 75 animals put down
Two County Down farmers have been jailed for four months after vets had to put down 75 animals on their farm.
Father and son, Stanley Porter Snr and Stanley Porter Jnr, aged 80 and 44, were convicted on animal cruelty charges.
At Downpatrick Magistrates Court, a judge said: "It's one of the worst cases of cruelty in Northern Ireland or anywhere in these islands."
The farmers are from Ballycloughan Road, Saintfield.
Fifty-nine other animals were rescued from the farm.
An inspection of the farm found animals not being properly fed and watered, and not given dry areas on which to lie.
Carcasses of dead animals were also found on the farm.
Last month, the father and son admitted a number of animal welfare charges, including causing unnecessary suffering to animals.
They were warned two years ago about the state of their farm by inspectors from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) but failed to take action to help the animals.
The court heard that Mr Porter Snr claimed the animals were "thin but healthy".
Danny Gray, head of enforcement at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Veterinary Service, said: "This was a shocking case of animal neglect and animal suffering.
"Today's sentence sends out a clear message that those who neglect animals will be pursued."