A FARMER and her helper who pleaded guilty to ten animal welfare charges are under court order to clean up their act or face disqualification from keeping animals.
Janet Carter, 58, who runs Newton Moor Farm in Troon, and Trevor Hampton, 47, of Tuckingmill, were brought before Truro Magistrates' Court on Monday with 29 animal welfare charges.
They pleaded guilty to charges including the unauthorised castration of pigs; keeping sheep, chickens and cattle without sufficient bedding and clean water and leaving dangerous objects around the 50-acre farm.
Video footage taken by Cornwall Council's public health and protection office during inspections in May 2012 and July 2013 was viewed during the two-day trial.
But District Judge Nick Sanders adjourned sentencing until February 17 to allow the pair to make changes to the farm.
He warned: "It is clear that standards are below that which are acceptable. There have been improvements. Disqualification will have a huge impact on your livelihoods. I am deferring sentence under certain conditions.
"If these conditions are met then we can rule out disqualification and custody. If they are not met then the other side of the coin will be possible."
Conditions include creating a permanent slurry pit; reducing the number of animals at the farm to 50 or fewer; feeding pigs water through nipple feeders; removal of hazards; giving chickens sufficient bedding and co-operating with spot inspections.
Andrew Wainwright, prosecuting for Cornwall Council, said inspections over a number of years revealed "cattle were kept close to silage and were seen eating it.
"A horse was also not in the best shape.
"The foot of an ewe was maggot ridden and pigs had been diagnosed with mange. Pigs had been castrated without authorisation."
He said chickens had been kept in flooded coops and "wholly unsuitable" living conditions.
Defence solicitor Michael Melville-Shree said Carter was caring, attached to her animals and "aware of the situation with the ewe and rather than have it destroyed she paid to have it seen by vets. Yes, the horse looked a little run-down, but it's 29 years old, it is bound to look so.
"As for the castration, Mr Hampton is trained to carry out these operations. He used anesthetic and the pigs felt no pain, but he now knows to go through the appropriate channels now."
Joss Tycehurst, also for the defence, said conditions had been improved since the videos were made.
Judge Sanders requested a site visit at the farm to show up-to-date conditions, which then prompted him to adjourn sentencing, saying: "Improvements had been made and it is more a case of mis-management than negligence."