A north-east farmer has been banned from keeping cattle after three of his cows had to be put down when he failed to get them treatment for ingrowing horns.
Marshall Hay, 79, previously admitted causing three cows unnecessary suffering by failing to get veterinary advice and treatment for the animals’ pain.
The offences happened on his farm at Castlehill, Methlick, and elsewhere, between September 2017 and May 2018, and also between January 2018 and June 2018.
Appearing back in the dock for sentencing, Hay, of Methlick, was admonished over the offences but banned from keeping cattle for two years.
However, the pensioner was given two months to sell or pass on his remaining cows.
Scottish SPCA senior inspector Alison Simpson welcomed the sentence, saying Hay had a “disregard” for the cows’ welfare.
She said: “We are happy that Hay pled guilty and this sentence handed down. Prosecution is always a last resort for the Scottish SPCA and every effort was made to work with Hay. However, the disregard for his animals’ welfare led to us having no choice but to seize the three animals in question to protect their welfare.
“After veterinary examination, the cattle were put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
“The remaining cattle at that time were moved from the premises.
“However, we are aware that after these cattle were moved, more have since arrived at Hay’s property.
“Hay has two months before the ban is enforced.”
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Depute fiscal Karen Dow previously told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the SSPCA visited the farm on May 18 with a veterinary surgeon who identified a number of cows which were of “immediate concern”, including two with their right horns growing into the side of their faces.
One of the cows had “discharge running down the side of the face from the wound and the face was swollen”.
A third cow had “both its horns growing into the head, the left horn very near to the eye”.
Ms Dow said: “The accused didn’t seem to see any urgency in treating the animals.
“He kept saying it wasn’t his problem and he was selling them.”
On May 27 the vet returned and was able to sedate and treat one of the cows which had its horn growing four inches into the sinus.
A decision was taken to have the animal “destroyed humanely by injection”.
The vet said the cow “suffered unnecessarily with this condition for at least 10 months where the horn was growing into its head”.
It was thought a marksman would have to be arranged to kill the other two cows but they ended up being taken to Thainstone Mart, along with other cows, and were euthanised with the use of a “captive bolt”.
After the previous calling of the case, when Hay admitted the offences, a family member told the Evening Express they were “devastated by what’s happened”.