A FARM has been fined in County Durham for failing to comply with regulations over the tagging and movement of cattle.

Director Cyrus Armstrong appeared on behalf of High Hedley Hope Farm before Newton Aycliffe magistrates yesterday where the business was fined £4,000.

The farm, near Tow Law, landed in court following an investigation by Durham County Council which earlier this year found some cattle were not correctly ear tagged while seven cows imported from Northern Ireland had not been registered to the relevant England and Wales body within a 15-day time scale.

Mr Armstrong pleaded guilty, on behalf of the business, to both counts on November 8.

Kamila Coulson-Patel, prosecuting for DCC, told the court in February this year the farm was visited by officers. She added the officers returned on April 4 and found cattle ear tags had still not been replaced.

In an interview Mr Armstrong said as the director he did not believe the record-keeping was his responsibility but Ms Coulson-Patel said it was the council’s view it was his obligation to ensure the company was run properly.

Charles Holland, mitigating, said the business had documented correctly the movement of cattle in Northern Ireland and when alerted to the failure to notify the British Cattle Movement Service, did so “honestly” albeit “late”.

He added all cattle had one correct ear tag but the business was awaiting larger tags to replace “button-tags” often used in the compulsory second tag.

The farm had already paid £4,306 prosecution and investigation costs and was ordered to pay a £179 victim surcharge.