Rhode farmer used herd number of innocent party

At a special sitting of Tullamore District Court on June 11 and June 13 Michael Kilmurray was charged with forty eight offences for breaches of national and European Communities legislation in relation to Bovine Tuberculosis, Brucellosis and cattle identification.

At a special sitting of Tullamore District Court on June 11 and June 13 Michael Kilmurray was charged with forty eight offences for breaches of national and European Communities legislation in relation to Bovine Tuberculosis, Brucellosis and cattle identification.

John McConville, Veterinary Inspector of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine detailed the facts of the case to Judge Catherine Staines in consultation with Geri Silke BL on June 11.

Evidence on behalf of the prosecution continued on the morning of 13 June 2012, prior to Mr Kilmurray indicating that a guilty plea would be lodged. In the event, Mr Kilmurray pleaded guilty to a representative sample of seven charges as detailed below.

Judge Staines stated that, apart from the issue of traceability, it was of particular concern that the herdnumber of an innocent party was misused by the defendant in this case. In passing sentence, Judge Staines stated that she would take into consideration the fact that Mr Kilmurray had pleaded guilty, even though it was late in the day.

She sentenced him as follows:

Under national legislation (a) one count of failure to present all animals for testing contrary to the Bovine Tuberculosis (Attestation of the State and General Provisions) Order 1989 (S.I. No 308 of 1989), and (b) two counts of failure to present eligible animals for a brucellosis test contrary to the Brucellosis in Cattle (General Provisions) Order, 1991(as amended).

In respect of the first count at (a) above, Mr Kilmurray was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, suspended for three years. He had to enter a bond of €100 to keep the peace. All other summonses were taken into consideration.

Under European legislation (c) one count of failure to ensure that animals arrived at destination with their passport completed, (d) one count of recording a particular that was false or untrue, (e) one count of failure to fill in the keeper section of passport and, (f) one count of having in possession or under control a bovine animal bearing an ear tag that had been tampered, defaced or otherwise altered or interfered with.

Mr Kilmurray was fined €1,000 each in respect of each of the summonses, with six months to pay and five days in default. An order for costs was made for €10,000, which included a contribution towards legal costs and witness expenses.

In the event of an appeal, recognisances were fixed for his own bond of €100, independent surety of €300 or cash in lieu.