Teenager banned from keeping chickens after RSPCA investigation in Copthorne

First published in News

A teenager who starved some of his chickens to death has been banned from keeping the birds for two years, following an investigation by the RSPCA.

Bradley Head, 19, admitted four breaches of the Animal Welfare Act, which all related to a number of chickens he was keeping in a field in Copthorne.

RSPCA inspector Andrew Kirby went to the field in Copthorne Bank where the birds were being kept on February 1, last year, after concerns for their welfare had been raised. He found eight dead chickens and 14 other thin birds, two of which were put to sleep immediately on veterinary advice.

The birds were kept in the field between January 25 and February 1, 2013.

When interviewed, Head said that after suffering a motorbike accident, he met another man on Facebook, who had offered to look after the birds for him while he recovered.

However, despite being told that his birds were suffering by other people who saw them, Head failed to take action to ensure the birds were receiving proper care and treatment.

He appeared at Redhill Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 20, and admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering, and two of failing to meet the welfare needs of a number of the birds.

Head was banned from keeping chickens for two years, fined £110 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £500 costs.

Insp Kirby said: “There was no food or water in one of the pens when I visited the field. “Some of the birds had literally starved to death.”

He said: “He was told several times that the birds were dead and dying, but he did nothing about it.

“Head claimed that he had arranged for the birds to be looked after by someone else, but he is still responsible for ensuring that they are being properly cared for.”

Insp Kirby said Head did not even have a phone number for the person who claimed they would look after his birds, and investigations into a given address had shown the details to be false.

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