Tayside and Central Scotland

Cattle farmers banned from owning animals except cats

Cow
Image caption The two brothers were fined £2,500 and disqualified from owning animals except domestic cats

Two Perthshire cattle farmers have been banned from keeping any animals except cats for the next five years.

Brothers Archiebald and James Boreland, who are 72 and 70, left their cows and calves emaciated and living in squalid conditions.

A sheriff imposed the ban after finding them both guilty of failing to look after their 93-strong herd of cows and calves properly.

An exception was granted as the brothers share two pet cats.

Protruding bones

Perth Sheriff Court heard how vets had repeatedly found the herd at Abernyte Farm, at Errol in Perthshire, to be in a poor condition as they were not cared for adequately.

The trial heard that cattle at the farm were so thin their bones were protruding from their bodies.

In May 2012 the Boreland brothers were found guilty of failing to ensure the needs of their cows were met by failing to provide them with adequate water and nutrition.

They were found guilty of leaving the cows and calves to become emaciated, leaving them in inadequate pens with floors covered in slurry, and risking injury to them as a result.

Witnesses, including vets and Scottish SPCA officers, told the court they were "shocked" by the condition of the animals on the farm in Errol.

The trial was told that three heifers were in such poor condition they had to be put down.

Unblemished records

Animal welfare experts told the court that the brothers had been warned about the dire conditions on their farm but had failed to take any action.

Sheriff Foulis said: "It seems to me that it would have been patently obvious the conditions in which the cattle were kept did not meet good practice."

He fined the brothers £2,500 as well as disqualifying them both from owning or keeping animals, except pet cats, for five years.

Solicitor Susan Richmond, defending James Boreland, said he and his brother had worked as farmers since their schooldays and had come to court with unblemished records.

She said they had both now stopped being involved with cattle, but owned two pet cats which they wanted to be allowed to keep.

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