Ban for man who failed to halt donkey attacks

A man who failed to stop a donkey from viciously attacking other farm animals was today banned from keeping animals for three years.

Andrew Harding, 39, was also ordered to pay £6,080 court costs for the case which saw him previously found guilty of eight charges contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Northamptonshire County Council confirmed.

In a prosecution brought by the council's Trading Standards department, the charges included failing to stop stallion donkey Paco from attacking other animals in the field in Tiffield, near Towcester, Northants, in March and April last year.

Dramatic video footage showed the donkey violently biting and shaking one of the Kune Kune pigs at the field.

The footage shows Paco grabbing the pig by its neck with his teeth and shaking him - afterwards the pig is filmed with an obvious injury to the back of its neck.

Other charges, relating to March, April and May last year, included failing to look after a pygmy goat that suffered from a skin condition, and failing to look after a saddleback sow and several piglets.

Harding, of Bretby Chase, Westcroft, Milton Keynes, denied all eight charges but was found guilty in March this year.

He was today banned from keeping all animals, except cats and dogs, for three years at Towcester Magistrates' Court, the county council confirmed.

A spokeswoman said he was also given a concurrent 12-month community order relating to all eight counts, requiring him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay the full prosecution costs of £6,080 within 14 days, she said.

Trading standards officer John Vincent said today: "Despite continued warnings and advice from trading standards, Harding failed to act appropriately to protect the kune kune pigs from unnecessary suffering.

"This was made clear by the magistrates who told him that he had been warned on many occasions but that he chose to ignore those warnings.

"Causing any unnecessary suffering to animals is completely unacceptable and Trading Standards will always take appropriate action against people who are failing to look after farm animals properly."