Aberdeenshire Council has welcomed the sentence imposed on a Peterhead man who kept a number of livestock in an unsuitable environment and caused unnecessary suffering to a pig.

Gary Stevens, of Hallmoss Farm, appeared at Peterhead Sherriff Court on 10 September for sentencing, having pleaded guilty on the August 9, 2019, to three of eight criminal charges raised against him by the Procurator Fiscal under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.  

Stevens received a custodial sentence amounting to 14 months across the three charges, along with a lifetime ban from keeping animals. 

Aberdeenshire Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Service seized all the livestock including one cow, two sheep, four goats and six pigs from Stevens’ farm last August following a series of visits by inspectors, prompted by public concerns. 

A vet deemed it necessary for the animals to be removed due to concerns over their poor condition, lack of veterinary treatment and the dreadful conditions in which they were kept.

The pig was euthanised to end its suffering and the remaining livestock were taken to a place where they could be restored to health. Aberdeenshire Council subsequently sought a disposal order at Peterhead Sheriff Court which was granted in February 2019 allowing the animals to be sold. 

Senior Animal Health & Welfare Inspector Pauline Anderson said: “We welcome the strong sentence that has been imposed in what was a very distressing case. 

“As well as the wholesale suffering of the animals, the poor conditions at the farm meant there was a risk of disease spreading outwith the premises. 

“The animals were kept in shocking conditions and we would like to thank Police Scotland and the Animal and Plant Health Agency for their support to allow us to remove them from the site.”