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Man and woman who caused unnecessary suffering to animals are jailed

Two County Armagh farmers have been jailed on a catalogue of animal cruelty charges.

Martha Toal, of School House Close in Glenanne, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court.

She was convicted on a charge of failing to dispose of equine carcasses, three charges of causing unnecessary suffering, one of failure to provide a wholesome diet, two of failing to comply with welfare improvement notices, one charge of failing to provide appropriate care for animals which appear ill, another of failure to identify equine animals in accordance with regulations, one of failing to attach approved ear tags, one of failing to notify movements on to a holding, and a charge of failing to produce medicine records when required to do so.

She was jailed for a total of fived months, having been given prison sentences of five months on six charges and three months on three others, with the penalties to run concurrently.

Toal was also banned from keeping all animals for life.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs was awarded a deprivation order in respect of nine animals currently in its possession.

The defendant was also fined a total of £600 and must pay £500 in departmental costs, together with a £25 offender levy.

Michael Ferris, of Shillinghill Road in nearby Mowhan, was convicted of a single charge of failing to dispose of equine carcasses, two charges of causing unnecessary suffering, one of failure to provide a wholesome diet, three charges of failing to comply with welfare improvement notices, and one charge each of failing to produce veterinary medicine records when required to do so, failing to identify equidae in accordance with regulations, and failing to notify the deaths or movements of cattle off a holding.

He too was jailed for a total of five months, having been sentenced to serve five months imprisonment on six charges and three months on two charges, again run concurrently.

Ferris was also banned from keeping all animals for life and DAERA was granted a deprivation order in respect of nine animals currently in its possession.

The defendant was also fined a total of £350 plus £500 DAERA costs and a £25 offender levy.

The case arose as a result of an anonymous complaint about the welfare of the animals kept on the premises.

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