A GOAT herder has been banned from keeping goats for 10 years after admitting causing them unnecessary suffering.
Ronald Norcliffe, 63, of Coop House, New Hey Lane, Scammonden, also admitted failing to provide 29 goats with a suitable living environment, enough fresh water and food.
Norcliffe appeared before Huddersfield magistrates yesterday and pleaded guilty to the two charges.
He failed to treat a white billy goat with an overgrown hoof between April 6 and May 4, 2007 and failed to provide for 29 goats between April 27 and May 4, 2007.
Tanya Forret, prosecuting, said Norcliffe lived on a run-down farm and kept his goats in dilapidating sheds.
He was warned by the RSPCA to improve conditions in February, but they found conditions unchanged when they returned on April 27 while being filmed by a BBC documentary crew.
Mrs Forret said: “The goats were in a poor condition. They were practically hitting their heads on the shed roof and they had no water.”
In addition to the goats, Norcliffe also had up to 18 dogs, four cattle and poultry.
The goats were taken into the possession of the RSPCA after being granted a licence by DEFRA to move them during the foot and mouth outbreak.
It has cost them £27,427 to care for them so far.
“The billy goat had overgrown hooves,” Mrs Forret added. “He was struggling to walk and the vet immediately trimmed the hooves to resolve its suffering.
“We are concerned about the way the goats are being kept. He did not believe
the goats had been suffering.”
Mr Andrew Craven, for Norcliffe, said he was guilty only of not knowing more about modern farming.
He had been concerned when the RSPCA officers turned up with a film crew because as he did not want himself or his farm to appear on TV.
The court was told Norcliffe lived alone and all he had were the animals on the farm.
Magistrates told Norcliffe: “We do not underestimate the seriousness of these offences.
“There were a lot of goats and we feel they were very badly treated.”
They imposed a deprivation order on Norcliffe with the sale of the animals, estimated at £660, paying his fine.
He was banned from keeping goats for 10 years.