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David Dalling of Whiteside Farm, was charged under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 19 2 (a) and (b) for failing to seek veterinary treatment for the cow’s clearly debilitated condition.
Experts from the Scottish SPCA swooped on Dalling’s property after receiving calls raising concerns for the health of the cow.
Once on the scene, they discovered the poor beast in such poor condition that a vet had no option other than to euthanise her.
Inspector June Chalcroft said: “We were alerted to the cow after passers-by spotted the animal in the field and became concerned about her condition. They had first seen the cow the previous evening and grew worried when she was still in the same position the following day.
“The cow was in an appalling state. She was extremely emaciated and her feet were so overgrown she was only able to stand for a few minutes at a time.
“There was a huge swelling on the right side of her face which was burst and oozing pus and several more lumps down the cow’s throat. She was making a gurgling noise and was obviously in a huge amount of discomfort.
“It’s likely the swelling on her face and throat was preventing her from being able to eat properly.
“It would have taken some time for the animal to get in to this condition and her feet alone showed it’s unlikely she’d seen a vet for at least six months. The amount of pain and suffering caused to cow would have been considerable.”
Inspector Chalcroft added that the cow would have survived its various ailments if it had received full veterinary care and intervention earlier.
However, it was in such poor condition that it had to be destroyed, prompting Dalling’s prosecution.: “Sadly, the condition of the cow was so poor the decision was made on veterinary advice that the kindest thing to do would be to euthanise her to prevent further suffering.
“However, in the time it took myself and the vet to return to our vehicles to obtain the medication to euthanise the cow, a man entered the field and shot her.
“Had the cow been seen by a veterinary surgeon, all of the conditions could have been treated and her welfare could have been considerably better. The multiple tumours, weight loss and overgrown hooves were all potentially treatable and she need not have suffered as a result of such poor husbandry.
“We are extremely disappointed that Mr Dalling has only received a fine on this occasion as we do not feel this reflects the suffering caused to the cow over a period of months.
“We hope he will be more conscientious in future about ensuring any animal he owns receives the appropriate husbandry and veterinary care required.”
If anyone is concerned about an animal, they can contact the Scottish SPCA’s confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.