Siblings 'left cow to die in pain' and 'carcasses to rot' around their Derbyshire farm

The case was heard at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court.
The case was heard at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court.

A brother and sister have admitted failing to protect suffering animals and not following strict regulations on disposing of dead livestock at their Derbyshire farm.

Stephen Hitchcock, 35, of Slades Farm, Whitewells Lane, Belper, admitted three charges under the Animal By-Products Regulations 2013 and two charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court in Derby earlier this week.

Susan Hitchcock, 38, also of Slades Farm, Whitewells Lane, admitted one charge under the Animal By-Products Regulations 2013 and two charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The case was brought by Derbyshire County Council's trading standards team following a visit to Slades Farm in May last year.

The visit was prompted after concerns were raised by a member of the public.

READ MORE: NEW FLATS COULD BE BUILT CLOSE TO DERBYSHIRE EXPLOSIVES FIRM
Both Stephen and Susan Hitchcock pleaded guilty to tethering two cows on chains so short they could not exhibit normal behaviour, not protecting a cow laid in a field from pain and suffering before it died and charges of failing to dispose of piles of cattle and sheep carcasses found at the farm.

Cabinet member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart, said: “This is a very distressing case and we will await the sentence with interest.

“Leaving animal carcasses to rot poses a serious threat to public health and the health of other animals due to the potential transmission of disease.”

Stephen and Susan Hitchcock are due to be sentenced on November 19 at the same court.

READ MORE: VIOLENT CRIME HAS DOUBLED IN CHESTERFIELD IN THE PAST YEAR