A POWYS farmer with a “completely cavalier” attitude towards farm management has been ordered to pay £13,000 after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals in his care.

Robert Evans, 67, was found guilty of two of the offences he faced in relation to breaching animal welfare regulations at a trial held at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, May 15.

Evans, of Ty Canol Farm, Tafolwern, Llanbrynmair, was convicted by District Judge Neale Thomas of causing unnecessary suffering to a sheep by failing to seek veterinary advice or administer treatment; and of a charge relating to sheep being inadequately treated for sheep scab infection.

Those offences were discovered after a senior veterinary inspector visited Cefndreboeth Farm, Berriew, one of many properties he owns, on February 4, 2023.

He was cleared of two other charges relating to that date – that he did not take steps to ensure the needs of 13 cattle were met, in that insufficient dry-lying was provided; and failing to provide a suitable diet for three sheep.


He had previously admitted failing to keep a record of any medicinal treatment given to animals and failing to dispose of 12 sheep carcasses and one calf carcass properly at Ty Canol, meaning in total he was sentenced on four charges.

Reshmi Mukherjee, prosecuting on behalf of Powys County Council, said Iona Speake-Jones and Catriona Duffy visited Cefndreboeth Farm last February.

Ms Speake-Jones said one lamb was found in a shed, with a horn digging into the skin on its face.

“It’s spine and hip bones were very prominent, there was no covering over its ribs,” she said.

The lamb was given a 0.5 out of 5 rating in terms of body condition.

“I was also concerned about scab, but he said it couldn’t possibly be scab, it was down to a protein the lambs were eating.”

The court heard how cattle in the shed were found standing in their own slurry, including one carcass.

Ms Speake-Jones found two more lambs she felt were in such poor condition that euthanasia was the only option.

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“His own vet arrived and agreed euthanasia was the correct option for the lambs,” she said.

“The defendant spoke about how much straw was costing him, I took that as if it was an inconvenience.”

Mike Davies, representing Evans, said his client had been a farmer all his life, and owned properties in Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire, as well as in Pembrokeshire and Cumbria.

“The investigation has been flawed from the start. In October 2022 there was a visit by the local authority and no issues were found,” said Mr Davies.

“The summer of 2022 was drier than usual, so lambs were born were weighing less than usual.”

Mr Davies said that Evans often bought smaller, sickly lambs at market in order to fatten them up.

“One of the officers said most of the animals gave no cause for concern regarding their body condition,” said Mr Davies.

“A bull was described as bright and responsive. He was on his way to the farm from where he lives with a trailer full of straw when the officers contacted him.

“He acted quite responsibly as he’d penned them in separately in the shed. He had done the right thing by separating them from the general flock.”

Evans told the court he could not read or write and had struggled with keeping records since the death of his partner seven years ago.

Judge Thomas told Evans, of previous good character: “You have shown a completely cavalier attitude towards farm management and your responsibilities in the food chain.

“You have to keep records and have to keep them properly. This is going to cost you a considerable amount today.

“If I see you again I will have to considerer whether to prohibit you from keeping animals."

He fined Evans £1,500 for each count, with 5,000 prosecution costs and a £2,000 surcharge – making a total of £13,000.