Northamptonshire farmer fined after flouting 'six day' livestock disease prevention rule

A farmer has been fined for breaking a disease prevention rule.
A farmer has been fined for breaking a disease prevention rule.

A farmer in Northamptonshire has been fined for repeatedly breaching rules that help protect against major animal disease outbreaks.

Ian Griffith from South Northamptonshire, appeared before Magistrates on Tuesday (July 9) facing eight charges of contravening Disease Control legislation.

Mr Griffith, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was ordered to pay a total of £7,369.90 in fines and costs.

The court heard that Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards found that between February 2018 and September 2018 Mr Griffith had breached the ‘six day standstill’ rule hundreds of times.

The 'six-day rule' is a containment procedure that gives farmers a chance to identify diseases in newly purchased livestock before they are moved on again.

Ignoring the rule runs the risk of allowing infected animals to mix with healthy animals and increase the chances of an outbreak of disease.

The offences involved Mr Griffith moving sheep from his holdings after they had arrived within the previous six days.

County council cabinet member for Trading Standards Jason Smithers said: “There are stark examples of what can happen to our countryside and economy when people fail to comply with disease control laws.

“It only takes a moment to recall the vivid images of animals burning on pyres during the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in 2001 or of countryside closed to the public. That single outbreak cost the UK economy over £8 billion.

“Every single day farmers must follow laws to prevent this situation from occurring again. There are rules to protect against the spread of diseases such as foot and mouth, bovine TB and Avian Influenza.

“It was this cycle of moving animals from market to market without a proper break, which contributed to the huge scale of the 2001 outbreak.”