A farmer has been jailed for the extreme cruelty he imposed on his animals, which includes leaving a calf to drown in mud.

Inspectors say this is one of the worst cases of animal suffering they remember seeing.

Charles Dowswell Parry, 51, of Ashminton Farm, Bringsty in Herefordshire had already been banned from keeping animals for 10 years but when inspectors visited the farm, they found a calf drowning in mud.

After being tipped off, Animal Health officers found a calf collapsed in thigh deep mud with muddy water running out of its nostrils.

An APHA veterinary inspector found that the calf was suffering and beyond any veterinary help, so he had to euthanise it where it lay.

In court, he said that during 29 years in his role, this had been a particularly extreme, harrowing and distressing experience to deal with.

A further 50 cattle were seized as they were being kept in an unsuitable environment and had an inadequate diet.

Animal health officers and veterinary officers also found a sheep carcass in a decomposed state and more than 60 sheep exposed to pain, suffering and disease.

David Hough, Herefordshire Council’s trading standards service manager, said: “This is the worst case of animal suffering we remember the team having to deal with.

"The unfortunate calf had been slowly drowning in the mud and the other cattle were up to their bellies in mud with limited food and water.

"The complete lack of correct care and treatment of the cattle and sheep was deplorable.”

Although officers located the cattle passports, Parry denied owning the cattle and sheep and gave names of two people who he claimed owned the animals.

He went so far as to leave a telephone message with one of the individuals asking them to corroborate his lies.

In a previous case taken by Herefordshire council Mr Parry was disqualified from keeping all animals except his dog for 10 years after allowing livestock, including 50 calves, to suffer and failing to correctly store and dispose of large amounts of deadstock.

Parry was required by the court to transfer ownership of all his livestock, which he failed to do.

On February 11 2021 Parry was found guilty of breaching a previous 10 year disqualification order from November 2019, six new animal welfare offences, and two animal by-products offences.

He has been sent immediately to prison for 32 weeks and has to pay a victim surcharge of £122 and £5000 towards costs.

His disqualification from keeping all animals, except his dog, has been increased from 10 years to lifetime.