Farmer vow in cow probe

Cows on a farm in Wharles
Cows on a farm in Wharles
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A FARMER has insisted he is caring for his cattle – despite shocking pictures showing the emaciated animals in a muddy field.

A FARMER has insisted he is caring for his cattle – despite shocking pictures showing the emaciated animals in a muddy field.

Stuart Wilson said his cows were being fed, as local residents voiced their concerns about the worrying state of his animals.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Lancashire County Council’s trading standards department are now both involved in the investigation into the health of Mr Wilson’s cows, at New Hall Farm in Wharles, near Kirkham.

Coun Heather Speak lives opposite the Roseacre Road farm and said she had received several complaints from local residents.

She said: “If anybody was to keep domestic animals in that condition they would be in serious trouble and I’m disappointed and it saddens me to think these animals have had to suffer for so long.

“I’m disgusted and upset at the state of these animals and DEFRA should have acted sooner. The animals are so malnourished.”

Yesterday Mr Wilson said he had sold the farm and was in the process of moving the animals to barns in a different location.

And he said he was “distraught” he had been forced to leave them outside but insisted they had been inspected by a vet.

The case has also be brought to the attention of Fylde MP Mark Menzies, who said he was “horrified” by claims the cattle had been mistreated.

Mr Menzies said: “The farming community in Fylde will be as horrified as I am because animal welfare is something both the farmers and myself take very seriously.

“As soon as I was informed of the situation I immediately contacted the RSPCA, DEFRA and Lancashire County Council to see how we could move the situation forward and get it dealt with as soon as possible.

“I now understand from DEFRA that the animals are being moved from the site to another farm where their condition can be properly assessed.”

DEFRA’s Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency said it took welfare allegations “seriously” but could not comment on individual cases.

But the county council’s Trading Standards department confirmed it was investigating and head Paul Noone said: “We have been contacted about a farm in the Wharles area and are currently working with DEFRA and other agencies to investigate the allegations.”