Agricultural investigations and prosecutions

The agriculture and food sector faces a huge and increasing number of regulatory requirements. Whether you’re a farmer, landowner or business working in the industry, it can be easy to fall foul of these even despite the best of intentions.

Yet prosecutions can cost time, money, stress, reputation and productivity.

Within Thrings’ nationally renowned agriculture team, we have specialists in defending prosecutions. Wherever possible, we will resolve the case tactfully through skilful negotiation and without the need for a public court hearing.

However, if there is a prosecution or a dispute then we have vast experience in advising on how to defend and protect you and your business in the strongest possible way.

We can advise you on investigations and prosecutions involving:

  • Defra
  • Trading Standards
  • Environment Agency
  • Road haulage
  • VOSA
  • Health and Safety
  • RSPCA
  • Animal welfare and animal by-products
  • Gangmasters Licensing Authority
  • Consumer protection
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Motoring offences
  • Police

Some examples of our work:

Successfully arguing that Defra and the Isle of Wight Council breached European Regulations in failing to provide farmers with the necessary infrastructure to allow them to legally dispose of animal by-products. This forced the UK Government to introduce by way of emergency the Animal By-Product (Amendment) Regulations 2009. The case was discussed in the House of Commons and attracted national media attention.

Successfully representing a farmer who was acquitted of offences under Cattle Database and Identification Regulations. The Court held that the offences were unknown to English law as DEFRA had failed to update the domestic Regulations with reference to revised EU legislation.

Acting for a farming company in a high profile investigation by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority involving over 40 dairy farmers. The investigation covered 16 counties in England and Wales and attracted national media attention.

Successfully defending a farming company, its director and an employee in a prosecution by a local authority for an alleged offence under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, namely, the unauthorised deposit of controlled waste (asbestos) following a two day Court trial.

Successfully defended a VOSA prosecution involving alleged motoring offences with full costs recovery.

Russell Reeves
Partner
Bristol
0117 930 9598
07766 514696
Derek Walsh
Partner
Bath
0118 963 7661
07766 525045

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