Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 12:23 UK

Ex-NFU chief's lamb welfare fine

Hugh Richards
Hugh Richards was awarded an OBE for his services to agriculture

A former president of the National Farmers' Union Wales has been told to pay a total of 920 after pleading guilty to 24 animal welfare charges.

Hugh Richards, 65, of Felinfoel, Llanelli, admitted taking 12 lambs to market that were unfit to travel.

He was fined 405, ordered to pay 500 costs and a 15 victim surcharge in a prosecution brought by Carmarthenshire council, of which he is chairman.

Magistrates in Llanelli heard that he had been "devastated" by the case.

The court heard that he had transported the lambs to Carmarthen mart, but they were not fit to travel as they were suffering from foot rot.

He had also failed to follow best practice in treating them for the condition by not giving them antibiotics.

He would never intentionally put his animals in this position
Chris James, representing Hugh Richards

His barrister Chris James said the defendant was "a pillar of the community" who was awarded an OBE for his services to agriculture in 1999.

He said the case had been "devastating for him and his family."

Mr James said his client had not intentionally mistreated the animals.

"He never intentionally sent them for transport knowing that they were suffering from foot rot - he would never intentionally put his animals in this position," he said

Mr James told the court that all the animals recovered within 14 days and were subsequently sold.

Leaving court, the defendant declined to comment.

Farm union man's animal charges
30 Jun 08 |  South West Wales

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