A county man has been banned from keeping sheep for life after failing to provide suitable care and treatment to animals with fly strike.

Leon Anthony Davies, 53, of Ardquin, Phocle Green near Ross-on-Wye, pleaded guilty, at Hereford Magistrates’ Court on March 5, to failing to provide suitable care and treatment for five sheep with the condition.

Davies received an indefinite disqualification to keep sheep for allowing five sheep to suffer and for docking tails of 29 sheep that were too old.

A deprivation order was imposed on Davies’ remaining sheep to be disposed of within 28 days.

He also received a fine of £1,700, a victim surcharge of £130 and costs of £1,415.38.

Herefordshire Council’s Animal Health Team took the case to court after officers found the sheep to be suffering from fly strike.

Fly strike is a condition caused by parasitic flies laying eggs on sheep.

The maggots which hatch from the eggs then burrow into the flesh of the sheep causing pain and suffering and if left untreated may cause death of the sheep.

At the time of inspection by an animal health officer, a vet had to be called to euthanise five sheep on welfare grounds due to the severe level of maggot infestation and suffering.

Davies was later revisited, where it was found that he had applied rubber rings to the tails of 29 lambs who were months old – this procedure should only be carried out on a lamb aged no more than 7 days old.

Marc Willimont, the council’s regulatory, environment and waste acting Assistant Director for, said: “This is a very serious case of animal suffering and the lack of correct care and treatment of the sheep was deplorable.

“The council will not tolerate this kind of animal suffering, and we will endeavour to work with all livestock keepers to ensure that best practice is maintained on farms and small holdings.”