A Ballantrae farmer who dumped dozens of sheep carcasses in an open pit has been hit with a hefty fine and community service.

Kevin MacIntyre pled guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his sheep at Ayr Sheriff Court on Monday, November 19. The offences took place between December 2017 and February this year.

South Ayrshire Council’s Trading Standards team helped convict the 37-year-old as they were tipped off about the despicable acts earlier this year. MacIntyre was fined £7,000 and ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work within a nine month period.

Council officers, along with the SSPCA and vets from the Animal and Plant Health Agency, visited Downan Farm where they discovered decaying carcasses, some of which had been lying for months in a shed and in fields close to the beach. Many others were also found dumped in an open pit.

Councillor Philip Saxton commented on the case and called for people to report animal abuse. He said: “This was a particularly harrowing case and we worked closely with our partners to ensure that justice was done as there was simply no excuse for the failings highlighted.

“Farming is a large and important industry in South Ayrshire and legislation is in place for a reason to protect livestock from suffering and help prevent the spread of disease. Ignoring these legal requirements can have a damaging effect on the reputation of the industry and the livelihood of people who play by the rules.

“I’d encourage anyone who cares for livestock and who is having issues to get in touch with us as early as possible to prevent similar cases from happening in future.”

If you find dead or injured farm animals that you think the owner may not know about, if you have concerns about livestock that are showing signs of suffering, or if you have any concerns about how a keeper is disposing of dead animals, please contact South Ayrshire Council’s Customer Services on 0300 123 0900 and ask to speak with Trading Standards.