Farmer banned from keeping cattle after staff filmed abusing calves
Animals were seen being punched and kicked by workers at Oaklands Livestock Centre in Shropshire.
A farmer has been banned from keeping cattle after hidden cameras captured his staff abusing animals.
Male calves were seen being punched and kicked by workers at Oaklands Livestock Centre, Shropshire, in undercover video taken by Animal Justice Project.
The cattle were also thrown down trailer ramps, pushed and dragged by their ears and sometimes deprived of food and water for long periods.
Farmer Derek Whittall, 57, has now been banned from keeping bovine animals for five years after he appeared at Telford Magistrates Court on Monday.
Read more: Man who boasted after killing stranger with single punch is jailed
He admitted five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Cattle Identification Act 2007.
Magistrates also handed Whittall an 18-month community order to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay prosecution costs of £11,855.
The court was told the undercover footage was captured near Shrewsbury by the animal rights group between November 2020 and March 2021.
In one clip an enraged farmhand can be seen using his jacket as a whip to smack a group of calves in the head.
Another shows a worker calling a calf a "f*****g k**b" before putting it in a headlock and kicking the animal.
Workers can also be seen illegally removing and seemingly replacing cattle ear tags.
Read more: Bloodied pensioner becomes 60th person injured by 'optical illusion' cycle lane
Whittall's company would collect calves from dairy farms and markets in the North East and take them to his centre before sending them to the slaughterhouse to be turned into kebabs or pet food.
His firm has since ceased trading after the footage came to light.
Claire Palmer, director of Animal Justice Project, who carried out the investigation, said: “The seriousness of Derek’s crimes cannot be overestimated.
She added: "Consumers need to be aware so they can make informed food choices as, ultimately, the buck stops with them."
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said previously as soon as they received the footage they contacted the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) to urge them to look into it.
Dairy giant Müller ceased trading with Oaklands after the footage from the Animal Justice Project emerged.