Cornwall smallholder admits 'unnatural breeding'

Emaciated cow. Image copyright Cornwall Council
Image caption All cattle are being removed from Justine Peroni's holding

A smallholder has been banned from keeping animals for five years after pleading guilty to "unnatural breeding".

Justine Peroni, 52, admitted five charges relating to animal cruelty at Bodmin Magistrates Court.

Peroni, of Downderry, Torpoint, admitted to failing to prevent unnatural breeding by allowing a bull breed with his mother.

District Judge Diana Baker also ordered her to pay £2,000 in council costs.

She was also restricted to her home for six weeks.

As well the unnatural breeding, Cornwall Council's Animal Health team and vets from DEFRA found emaciated cattle, one cow with "pus dripping from its udder", and fields covered in hazardous objects.

The four other charges Peroni admitted were:

  • Two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cow by failing to provide prompt effective treatment
  • Failing to provide a suitable environment for cattle by allowing them access to items that had the potential to injure them
  • Failing to tag a calf within 20 days of its birth

Jane Tomlinson, the council's Head of Trading Standards, said Peroni ignored the council's advice, including the "most obvious cattle welfare needs".

"We will continue to work with DEFRA to ensure all the cattle are removed from the smallholding within the next few days," she added.

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