Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

'Serious' animal tagging and movement case put back again

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Anne Lucey

A judge has said “a serious case” involving bovine tagging and identification and animal movement and animal welfare had acquired “legs all of its own”, because of the number of  times it has been on the court lists over the past year and a half without being finalised.

A father and son are before Killarney District Court on the matter which involved movement of animals principally on a farm in Co. Cork.

Only some of the animals had ever been located, the court has been told.

The father, John C Casey, aged 57, otherwise known as Christy Casey of Crosstown, Killarney Co Kerry, pleaded guilty in January to 14 sample  charges mainly at Ryefield, Whitechurch, Co. Cork and within the State.

However the son is under psychiatric care, the court has been told. 

Fifty  summonses had been issued by the prosecutor the Minister for  Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The breaches were of European Communities bovine regulations, 2009, on animal passports, notification of birth of a calf birth within seven days of being tagged, information on sale or disposal of bovines, failing to provide an  animal passport in relation to movement of an animal.

Mr Casey Snr had also failed to disclose the location of animals as required under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, 2013.

The dates of the offences were mainly on August 14, 2014 and September 15, 2014. Failing to register births of  a number of animals were said to have occurred between November 2013 and 2014.  .

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Rarely had Department of Agriculture Inspectors come across breaches on such a scale, the court heard in January.

Mr Casey Snr's  suckler herd was registered in Co Cork and he also had leased land, the court has been told.

Louis Reardon veterinary inspector with the Department of Agriculture  said that although the Department would regularly come across incidents relating to small numbers of breaches of regulations animal movement and registration- but  “not on the scale of Mr Casey” .

Mr Reardon said he had failed to produce animal passports;  and asked where the cattle were, “he would not say”.

Only some of the cattle had ever been located and “we don’t know what happened these animals,” Mr Reardon said in response to a query by regarding 69 animals.

Giving false dates of birth had implications regarding BSE and disease testing as the ages of the animals were important in these tests.

The man’s son John Casey Junior also of Crosstown, Killarney had also been issued with summonses in connection with alleged breaches  but has not entered a plea.  He was in court yesterday, and his  solicitor Padraig O’Connell reminded the court that John Casey Jnr   was “under the care of a consultant psychiatrist” and it had been adjourned to May 2nd because  of that.

“The issue was the plea. The (psychiatric) examination has not yet taken place. The consultant was also to attend court. The (psychiatric) examination has not yet taken place.” Mr O’Connell said.

However Judge James O’Connor said the case had been adjourned “eleven times” at this stage.

“This thing has legs all of its own.. It’s a serious mater. He must get himself examined; Get the report and bring the doctor ( the psychiatrist) in as well!"  the judge told Mr O’Connell.

Judge O’Connor agreed to adjourned the matter to June to allow time for the busy psychiatrist to conduct the examination.

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