Farm Ireland

Friday 23 June 2017

Whistleblower helps convict farmer for fraud and cattle identification offences

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Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A farmer has been convicted for a range of livestock-related offences including fraud following a report by a member of the public.

The most serious offence was of dishonestly making a false representation, namely, that the eight calves for sale only had two previous movements with the intention, by making the representation, to make a gain for himself or cause loss to another person or to expose him to a risk of loss.

David Lee of Carrickaness Road, Dungannon, County Tyrone was sentenced today at Dungannon Magistrates' Court.

Mr Lee was sentenced to three months imprisonment suspended for two years on the first charge and two months imprisonment suspended for two years on two other charges two.

He was also fined £3,600 and ordered to pay £6,000 compensation plus £15 offenders levy.

David Lee was convicted of 17 charges, including:

  • one charge of fraud by false representation;
  • eight charges of failure to notify the department of movement of 126 cattle on to his holding;
  • one charge of knowingly providing false information; one charge of failing to keep a herd register; and
  • six charges of failure to notify the Department of movement of 33 cattle off his holding.

This case arose following a complaint by a member of public about the defendant’s activities.

These offences were discovered during a subsequent investigation and cattle identification inspection carried out by Veterinary Service Enforcement Branch.

A spokesperson for DAERA said: “The Department regards the misrepresentation of cattle as extremely serious because it corrupts animal traceability and undermines the credibility of Northern Ireland’s computerised Animal Public Health Information System (APHIS).

“Cattle movements, notified to the Department, are recorded on to the APHIS database. The provision, within statutory limits or upon request, of complete and timely information concerning cattle in the herd, to the Department is fundamental to the credibility and integrity of APHIS.

“Properly maintained herd registers form an integral part of the animal’s traceability supporting the accuracy and integrity of APHIS. Accurately maintained herd records corroborate and complement the APHIS details and help maintain public confidence in beef traceability and assists in animal disease control.”

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