Issued By
Cumbria County Council


Magistrates sitting today at Penrith imposed fines and costs totalling £3,400 on farmer/livestock dealer Michael John Duncan Gillett. Gillett of Kilncroft, Thackthwaite, Dacre, Penrith pleaded guilty to a total of 10 charges brought under the Animal Health Act 1981.

To 6 charges that he breached the 20 day standstill imposed on livestock, he pleaded guilty and was fined £1,200.

To 3 charges that he failed to accurately record animal movements, he pleaded guilty and was fined £600.

Gillett also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to produce on demand to an inspector, a movement record. For this offence he was fined £100

Phil Ashcroft, Head of Cumbria Trading Standards, said
“The 20-day standstill was introduced following the total movement ban imposed during foot and mouth as a balance, while risks were still high, between disease prevention and farmers’ needs. Although now reduced to 6 days, there is a continuing need to abide by the restrictions and recording regime, to ensure that if disease does recur, then it can be identified, traced and eradicated as quickly as possible and with minimum disruption to agriculture and the whole rural economy”.

Cllr Jack Richardson, Community Safety Spokesman for Cumbria County Council, said:
“The court have rightly taken a serious view of these offences. It is in everybody’s interests that foot and mouth does not return. It is particularly important for farming and the tourist industry in Cumbria that we never again have an outbreak on the scale seen in this County in 2001”.

Notes for Editors:

1. Shortly after the outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) on 20 February 2001, all movements of livestock were banned throughout Great Britain.

2. From 2 March 2024 until 10 February 2002, no FMD susceptible animal was allowed to move in England unless accompanied by an individual movement licence.

3. From 11 February 2002, certain animals were allowed to move under the terms of one of a number of general licences.

4. The 20-day standstill was introduced on the basis of veterinary and scientific advice. It slows down the spread of any undetected disease by slowing down animal movements.

5. The 20-day standstill was reduced to 6 days for cattle, sheep and goats on 4 March 2003.

6. For more information on this press release, contact Nick Mildon (01228 607447) or Phil Ashcroft (01539 773586), at Cumbria Trading Standards