Jail for couple convicted of animal neglect

A farmer and his wife from Heikruis in Pepingen (Flemish Brabant) have been sentenced to five months in jail and a fine of 40,000 euros for animal neglect.  The punishment may seem severe, but it’s the fourth time the couple is convicted.

Inspectors from the Federal Food Safety Agency FAVV have been regular visitors at the couple’s farm for years now.  Up to 100 neglected animals were seized on such visits.  The couple has been convicted by the Brussels appeal court on several occasions and ordered to pay a 30,000 euro fine.  They were also banned from keeping farm animals.  The present trial followed the seizure of over a hundred neglected sheep, 12 turkeys, 36 chickens and two geese. Following earlier convictions the couple registered the animals in the woman’s parents’ name.  But the court ruled that they all lived together as one family and kept the animals together.

The couple and the woman’s parents in whose names the animals were registered have now been banned from keeping all animals for life. The parents were fined 16,000 euros.