Cattle dealer fined

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A leading cattle dealer who "betrayed the farming community" by buying in cattle from West Country markets, retagging them and declaring that they came from his BSE-free herd, was fined pounds 30,000 yesterday at Exeter Crown Court.

David King, 42, of Matford Park Farm, Exminster, Devon, pleaded guilty to six charges under the Trade Descriptions Act. He was also ordered to pay the pounds 18,500 costs of the investigation carried out by Devon Trading Standards Department, which brought the prosecution.

Martin Meeke, for the prosecution, said that for a "few pieces of silver" King had "betrayed the farming community".