A FARMER has been hauled before magistrates after moving livestock just three days into a national ban imposed following a foot and mouth outbreak.
A country-wide restriction zone was announced on 12 September last year after confirmation of the disease on a livestock holding in Surrey.
The restriction prohibited the movement of "susceptible animals", including sheep, from premises within the restricted zone, except under authority of a special licence granted by a Defra veterinary officer.
However, farmer Angelo Wade, 43, of Bumper Hall Farm, Oswaldtwistle, was spotted transporting 109 sheep and lambs from his own farm and unloading them at Whitecroft Farm, White-croft Lane, Haslingden Old Road, Oswaldtwistle, to be dipped.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of moving susceptible animals without lawful authority when he appeared before Hyndburn magistrates.
Trading standards officers and police were called to the farm and reported seeing both decks of a trailer loaded with sheep.
The court heard that the officers could smell sheep dip and it was heavily leaking onto the road.
Prosecuting on behalf of trading standards, legal process officer for Lancas-hire County Council, Nick McNamara, said: "The purpose of the declaration was to impound animals throughout the restricted zone until a full veterinary risk assessment could be carried out to establish the number and location of animals that might have been affected by the outbreak and to prevent the potential spread of the disease between animals on different holdings."
When spoken to by police, Wade admitted moving the animals without a licence.
But he said he had done it on welfare grounds because the sheep had been contaminated by contact with flies.
He was given a 12- month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £138 towards court costs.