We were instructed in a matter where a man of Asian origin with very limited experience of keeping animals was prosecuted following months of investigations into one of the largest prosecutions brought jointly by the RSPCA and the Bedfordshire Trading Standards before the Luton Magistrates Court. He was summonsed to court for several offences of causing unnecessary suffering to several types of animal. In addition he was separately prosecuted for his systematic failure to maintain appropriate body condition of the animals; failing to meet the needs of animals by providing a suitable environment.

Trading Standards prosecuted him separately but on a more limited basis of failing to dispose of animal by products namely the dead carcasses of various breeds of animals on the land from which he operated.

The Prosecution case was that the Defendant had amassed a huge number of animals at a site based in Bedfordshire. He was investigated by the authorities following complaints by neighbouring landowners who looked after their own animals. There were also complaints that followed from members of the public visiting the site causing a major outcry. What followed was a sting operation led by the RSPCA, joined by Trading Standards; the Bedfordshire Police & Rural Strategic Team.

It meant regular unannounced visits by teams of specialists and a large number of veterinary experts over many months in 2018 and 2019. The visits and work conducted were all contained and served as part of the prosecution case, which we were required to scrutinise with care.

These sting visits by the RSPCA lead to the removal of over 700 live animals all of whom needed to be kept safely in storage fed and looked after including the removal of dead animal carcasses found at the site. The costs alone of removal and storage ran into several thousands of pounds in respect of each authority and decisions being taken at the highest levels of each involved.

We were required to act in haste and dissect very lengthy and voluminous evidence of a very technical nature. The very nature of this evidence meant that it was labour and time intensive to consider as was taking instructions. It was on account of our handling the matter with sensitivity and care that the result was more beneficial to our lay client. Our Mr Banerjee was on hand from the beginning and throughout the case to ensure a very hands on approach and that all aspects of our client’s matter were handled proactively.