Judge orders cattle to be removed from farm after ‘horrific’ cruelty

Man guilty of ill-treating animals by failing to provide adequate feed, water and shelter

Pat Shannon: Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a 10-month suspended jail sentence on the farmer from Kilrush, Co Clare

Pat Shannon: Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a 10-month suspended jail sentence on the farmer from Kilrush, Co Clare

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 01:00


A judge has ordered that a west Clare farmer surrender his cattle herd to avoid them enduring any further cruelty.

At Kilrush District Court yesterday, Judge Patrick Durcan ordered that the 75 cattle owned by Patrick Shannon (60) be taken from him within 28 days after what the judge described as “horrific evidence” of animal cruelty.

Judge Durcan also imposed a 10-month suspended jail sentence on the married father of three from Carnaculla, Kilrush, Co Clare. “I don’t want to see the animals endure any further suffering,” he said. “I want to see action on this matter.”

He ordered the animals’ removal from the farm in spite of pleas from Mr Shannon’s solicitor John Casey who said the animals were “his livelihood, his income and the personal loss he would feel by losing these animals would be severe”.

Mr Casey added: “Mr Shannon has farmed all his life. He has a love for animals, a love for farming. What he did was misguided, but there was no malice.”

However, Judge Durcan said: “I am satisfied that the actions, inactions and breaches of undertaking by Mr Shannon have greatly caused hardship, cruelty and ill-treatment to these animals and tremendous damage to the agriculture industry as a whole.”

Mr Shannon had pleaded guilty to ill-treating animals by failing to provide adequate feed, water and shelter to bovines on his lands at Carnaculla, Kilrush, on November 1st, 2nd and December 11th, 2012.

Veterinary inspector Vincent Lambert told the court he found hungry and malnourished cattle confined behind electric fences on bare ground with no supplementary feed or water when he visited the farm.


Confined spaces
Some cattle were on their knees trying to eat grass outside the fence and the grass was also bare beyond the fences.

“Mr Lambert gave evidence of seven separate instances where animals were detained in very confined spaces without food, water or shelter,” the judge said. “Animals were cold, open to the elements and had sight of water and food they couldn’t access.” The animals were in a “sorry condition” and it was “a very sad” case.

In court last month, Judge Durcan ordered that all of the electric fences be removed but he was told yesterday that electric fences remained in place.

He fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal.