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Within the farming and agriculture sector we specialise in representing clients from the farming community throughout the UK, in particular those under investigation and facing prosecution. Our specialist team has a successful record representing farmers facing prosecution from Trading Standards, Rural Payments Agency, BCMS, DEFRA and Environmental Agencies.
We can advise on and have successfully defended prosecutions against farmers for:
- Cattle Identification Regulations - breaching cattle identification regulations including BCMS, Ear tagging and Passport Irregularities and non identification of animals
- fraud - allegations relating to movement of animals and contravention of regulations
- animal welfare & animals transport breaches
- animal testing - tuberculosis testing and BSC related allegations and appeals
- dangerous animals or livestock - offences relating to dangerous animals
Farmers can find themselves facing serious allegations such as fraud as a result of a series of more minor regulatory breaches of animal identification regulations. These can result in criminal convictions with substantial consequences and even custodial sentences. The damage to an individual's reputation in the farming and wider community is a serious issue for our clients as is the unwanted media attention which sometimes accompanies the more serious allegations. Orders made under the Proceeds of Crime Act can easily drive convicted farmers out of business. Breaches of animal welfare provisions can result in orders preventing farmers being able to keep animals.
We can provide a comprehensive team of experts including veterinary and animal experts in this field enabling us to cut through often large amounts of evidence to the heart of the case in order to properly defend your position. In recent cases we have been able to expose ill judged prosecutions pursued by Trading Standards by careful analysis of the documents served as part of the prosecution's own case. We have also been able to show apparently incontrovertible video footage said to show poor animal welfare to be misleading and selected.
We are well aware that hard-working farmers and families are constantly under the scrutiny of trading standards and this can often lead to an invasive investigation and possible prosecution resulting in livelihoods being threatened.
Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change.
Legal aid can often be available for those being investigated and charged with this type of offence.
If legal aid is not available, we would be pleased to discuss your requirements and produce a costs estimate accordingly based on the type and complexity of the work involved.