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A chronic failure to deal with and dispose of animal carcases

Llanelli Magistrates Court

ANIMAL health officers inspecting the premises of a knackerman from Banyfelin were met with ‘gruesome scenes’ arising from a chronic failure to deal with and dispose of animal carcases.
William Pinkney, aged 42, admitted a range of animal by-product offences including allowing chickens to roam on bloodstained floors, keeping overflowing bins of dead animals and bones, and leaving calf carcases on the floor in the processing area of a centre from which he ran his business.
Pinkney, who also houses the hounds of the Carmarthenshire Hunt Club, pleaded guilty to 16 offences at Llanelli Magistrates Court and was handed a 12-month community order. He must also pay over £2,195 in costs in a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire Council
The court heard that the 42-year-old is authorised to collect and receive fallen stock of farmed animals. He is also authorised to feed certain parts of the animals to the hounds living on the premises.
He admitted to magistrates keeping calf ears and heads in unlabelled bins, and not removing specified risk material (SRM) from a pile of calf carcasses – all SRMs must be removed and stained or marked with patent blue V and not mixed with other animal by-products (ABP).
Specified Risk Material includes parts of vertebrae, the digestive system and the heads of cattle which carry the risk of transmitting Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (sometimes called mad cow disease) and similar parts of sheep and goats which might transmit scrapie, a similar disease to BSE.
Disposal of those body parts is strictly controlled and includes storing them in leak-proof and sealed bins specified for that purpose only.
The Defendant also admitted feeding hounds with material contaminated by SR, allowing chickens to feed off partly burnt carcasses and letting horses have access to a manure heap containing animal bones.
He pleaded guilty to not keeping up to date feeding records for the hounds, failing to keep current records of collected or delivered animal carcasses, operating the collection centre and feeding animal by-products to the hounds after being served a prohibition notice.
Pinkney also pleaded guilty to not labelling blue wheelie bins containing unstained bones correctly and keeping ABP bins outside, overflowing and full of rotting carcases surrounded by a large number of maggots and flies.
Bins were not closed properly leaving bones scattered around the floor area allowing wild birds and animals access to them.
In mitigation Pinkney’s solicitor, Mr Clive Lewis, said that his client had reduced the number of fallen stock he deals with at the premises since November 2016, when officers visited Pinkney’s premises. Mr Lewis told the Magistrates that his client had also spent money to make sure the premises are compliant.
Mr Lewis said that, when Pinkney took over the business, he had inherited the issues on the site and that he was sorry he hadn’t been able to resolve them sooner.
Pinkney was also told to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay an £85 victim surcharge.
The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “This has proved very costly for Mr Pinkney, who was aware it was his responsibility to ensure all guidelines were followed. Controls on animal by-products are there for a very good reason and protect against any potential risks to both human and animal health. I’d like to thank our animal health officers who were faced with some gruesome scenes during their investigation.”