A FARMER has avoided an immediate jail sentence and been ordered to pay £12,000 costs for neglecting sheep.
Valerie Bowen, of Blaengrenig Farm, Glanamman, was given a suspended jail sentence following a hearing at Carmarthen Magistrates' Court during which she was accused of failing to care for the sheep, causing animal suffering and failing to dispose of animal carcasses.
The bench heard that a Carmarthenshire Council animal welfare officer first visited the property in November 2010, when some welfare issues were found and advice and guidance was provided. Bowen complied with the advice so the matter was dealt with.
But early in 2012 further complaints were received and the conditions were found to be totally unacceptable and enforcement action was taken after Mrs Bowen failed to act upon comprehensive advice given.
Sheep carcasses were found in fields, rivers and feeding areas, along with lamb carcasses.
The court heard that Mrs Bowen's husband had died several years ago and she had spent a lot of time visiting her son who had spent many months in hospital at the time of the offences.
She had failed to carry out regular routine checks which would have revealed the problems.
Four-month and two-month prison sentences were suspended for 18 months.
Bowen was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, banned from keeping sheep for 10 years, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £12,382.89.