Cork farmer pleads guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to animals

Cork farmer pleads guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to animals

Cork farmer Tadhg Cashman of Castletreasure, Donnybrook, Cork pictured at Cork District Court charged with animal cruelty.

The carcasses of dead cattle were found across farmland at Castletreasure on the outskirts of Cork city and today the farmer was prosecuted for animal cruelty and related charges.

Tadhg Cashman, 51, of Castletreasure, Douglas, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to causing unnecessary suffering to animals, failing to arrange burial of carcasses and two counts related to failure to fence his lands to restrict the movement of animals in February 2020.

Sergeant James Sweeney visited the 110-acre farm at Castletreasure, Douglas, Cork, on February 17, 2020 where the carcass of a dead animal was found near a shed. Veterinary inspector Edward Myers from the Department of Agriculture was notified.

Sgt. Sweeney said, “We visited and photographed the scene and inspected the lands. We walked the 110 acres with Tadhg Cashman.

“Numerous animals in various stages of decomposition were found around the farm. Little or no fences were present and the animals had no shed or shelter and there was no grazing available.” 

A notice was served on the farmer to reduce the number of animals on the farm.

Solicitor Anne Tait said the defendant had partly complied with the order by reducing cattle numbers hugely. Sgt. Sweeney agreed with this submission and said, “He did make good efforts in fairness to him.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher was shown photographs of animal carcasses on the land and he asked how many were found. Sgt. Sweeney said there were eight animal carcasses and this did not include dead calves that were found.

Ms Tait asked Sergeant Sweeney if the accused had co-operated with the investigation. 

The sergeant said, “He has. He is a very personable man. The issue is not wanton neglect. It is more an issue of capability.” 

Ms Tait said Tadhg Cashman lived completely alone and was isolated.

Veterinary Inspector Edward Myers said he issued an order for the reduction of the number of livestock to 30 non-breeding animals but that while numbers were reduced there was not full compliance with the order as there were still breeding animals on the farm.

The inspector acknowledged that since the order was served there was silage and feed on the farm. As for farm buildings he said that effectively there were no useful farm buildings to shelter animals from harsh weather or to isolate sick animals during recovery.

Judge Olann Kelleher said he was going to put the case back for a probation report on the defendant who had no previous convictions of any kind.

Inspector Myers said that at the moment TB and BVD tests needed to be done on the animals as well as the registration of unregistered animals.

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