Cattle ban for farmer who 'left calf to die in mud'

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Cow in mudImage source, Scottish SPCA
Image caption,
Inspectors said they found more than 20 malnourished cattle without adequate protection from the weather

A farmer who left a calf to die in a boggy field has been fined £5,000 and banned from keeping cattle for five years.

Detlef Meier, 63, of Maybole, South Ayrshire, had earlier admitted causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of his animals.

He was sentenced at Ayr Sheriff Court following an investigation by animal welfare group the Scottish SPCA.

The charity said more than 20 of his cattle were found to be malnourished.

Inspectors who visited his property in January last year discovered one calf had died after becoming trapped in mud, the charity said.

Chief inspector Karl Knowles said: "This was a shocking case of severe neglect.

"Meier had failed to provide suitable nutrition and drinking water, adequate shelter from adverse weather, and a dry clean resting area and protection from the deep muddy hazardous environment he knew his animals were enclosed within.

"Upon inspecting the property, over 20 young cattle were identified as severely underweight due to inappropriate feeding methods, whilst another young calf had to be physically removed from a muddy bog area where it had become trapped and died.

"We are delighted the court has handed this sentence down, and hope Meier seriously considers his suitability to own and care for bovines in the future."