Farmer caught abusing sheep by undercover officer

William Brown pleaded guilty to causing the animals unnecessary suffering at a farm in Scotland.

Farmer caught abusing sheep by undercover officer Scottish SPCA

A farmer has been fined £550 after being caught punching and kicking two sheep.

William Brown, 59, was snared by an undercover Peta animal welfare officer, who handed in the footage to the Scottish SPCA.

Brown, of Herbertshaw Farm in Howgate, Penicuik, pleaded guilty to causing the protected animals unnecessary suffering at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

The Scottish SPCA said it was pleased Brown admitted the offence, but was disappointed he was not banned from owning or working with animals.

Abuse: William Brown was caught by an undercover animal welfare officer.

Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Chisholm said: “This is a serious case of animal cruelty by an experienced farmer. He will be fully aware that sheep experience fear and can perceive humans as a threat.

“Violently lashing out at the sheep will spread fear amongst the rest of the flock.

“We would expect anyone involved in the rearing of livestock for commercial purposes to have the highest standards of welfare and treatment.

“We are disappointed that Brown wasn’t banned from owning or working with animals but we hope this will serve as a warning that this behaviour is unacceptable and we will fully investigate any reports of cruelty towards livestock.

“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss welfare practice with the wider industry.”

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