back to article Farmer fined for ignoring cow's 'psychological needs'

A West Yorks farmer has been slapped with a £150 fine for keeping a cow in a darkened barn and therefore failing to 'meet the psychological needs' of the bovine. Ronald Norcliffe, 65, was nabbed under the Animal Welfare Act in August 2008 when operatives from Kirklees Environmental Health department and the Department for …


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  1. R Callan

    I wonder

    what would the animal welfare persons reaction would have been if the farmer had answered "Outdoors, where they belong". In many parts of the world farm animals only go indoors to:

    Be milked, keeps the farmer dry and rain out of the milk

    To be shorn, shearers hate the rain

    To be slaughtered, health and safety and all that.

  2. AGirlFromVenus

    victim surcharge?

    What this for. Dr. Dolittle to come along and sort out the post traumatic stress disorder, or to pay for a golden pair of stun bullets when it's hamburger time?


  3. It wasnt me
    IT Angle


    What are they going to do with the £15 victim surcharge? Buy the cow a tapestry set to help the winter nights fly by ?

    An I dont really care that theres no it angle, but Ill mention it before someone else does.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    £15 victim surcharge.

    that is all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    You wouldn't keep a death row prisoner in a cellar without lights.

  6. Emilio Desalvo

    A lighter would be cheaper....

    Well, using a lighter in the barn would probably have solved the problems.

    The interesting fact is that fifty years ago ALL THE FARMERS of the continent would have been fined for 'for ignoring cow's 'psychological needs'’'

    BTW, what are the 'psychological needs' of my lunch?

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    Good verdict.

    My first response was going to be that this doesn't seem like an unreasonable verdict. I don't think anyone would disagree that keeping a cow in a darkened room for several months is probabaly not ideal conditions for a large animal raising it's young.

    I'm sure the farmer himself would not like to be subjected to the same conditions.

  8. Charlie


    Being a West Yorkshire lad and from farming stock myself, I wouldn't be surprised if the farmer was a miserable stubborn bugger who's completely in the wrong and going out of his way to be difficult.

    "Reckons he can teach me how to keep my cows, does he?"

    I wonder if the posters above have stopped to think that perhaps being kept out in the open all year round would actually be preferable to being locked up in a dark room for months?

    I think that the implicit suggestion that a farmer has more concern for the welfare of his animals than a vet is ridiculously naive.

  9. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    @Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    "I'm sure the farmer himself would not like to be subjected to the same conditions."

    Except that of course the farmer has no electricity in his house, so those are pretty much the conditions he does endure.

    And if you think that he does that by choice, you'd be right in so far as he chose not to pay the electricity suppliers thousands of pounds to run cables to his house.

  10. Paul 4

    @R Callan

    Probably that you can't keep cows outside when there is a foot of snow on the ground, or getting down to -10 as is often the case in winter in that area.

  11. Campbell


    "Except that of course the farmer has no electricity in his house, so those are pretty much the conditions he does endure."

    Not exactly, the report says "under the house" and "with little natural light" the farmer has easy access to natural daylight, unless he needs electricity to open the curtains or get him out of the house.

    The cow is a diurnal animal same as you and so needs the pattern of light and dark. Jeez!Humans get SAD during the shorter days of winter, don't you think that animals could have similar problems.

  12. David 45

    Court by the short and curlies

    Just noticed - he was fined by the Uddersfield court!

  13. wv9e

    Wow.. I thought US was bad

    More enviro-nazis. Broad class of fools costing tax payers billions each year world wide...

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