Smallholders in St Austell plead guilty to breaching ban on keeping birds

At Truro Magistrates Court on 11 February 2019, Joanna Lutey (42) and Michael Jackson (31) who run a smallholding in St Austell, pleaded guilty to keeping poultry when banned.

On 23 January and again on 31 January 2019,  officers from Cornwall Council’s Animal Health team visited their smallholding and discovered 120 birds (geese, ducks and chickens) living there and living in unsuitable conditions, despite a ban on the couple keeping poultry.  The poultry has since been sold and are no longer at the smallholding. 

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Cornwall Council originally prosecuted Miss Lutey and Mr Jackson in October 2018 when they were convicted of causing cruelty to birds.  Mr Jackson was given a 200 hour community service order and Miss Lutey a 100 hour community service order.  They were ordered to pay £4000 in costs and given a 10 year ban on keeping poultry. 

On 18 December 2018 the ban was appealed at Truro Crown Court, however the appeal was refused and Mr Jackson and Miss Lutey were given a month to dispose of their birds.

Due to their early guilty plea and the fact that the birds have now been removed, Miss Lutey and Mr Jackson were both given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1000 each towards the Council’s costs.

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for environment and public protection said: “The outcome of this case shows the Council’s commitment to upholding orders of the court and ensuring the health and welfare of farm animals.  It’s important that we took this action in order to maintain the good reputation of the farming industry in Cornwall.”


Story posted 12 February 2019