Theft of Cattle

On 21 March 1997, R Hill & Co's cattle were stolen by Sheriff Michael Fletcher and Procurator Fiscal David Howdle. David Howdle orchestrated and Sheriff Fletcher sanctioned, the removal and unbelievably the sale and destruction of R Hill & Co's entire herd prior to any criminal proceedings. In so doing both men disregarded with total disdain an 85 year old statute and the rule of law.

David Howdle libelled a charge of cruelty to animals at common law in a petition that sought warrant permitting the entire herd of cattle from Powhillon farm to be removed and either sold, slaughtered or destroyed. Cruelty to animals is not a common law crime as recorded in Shepherd v. Menzies, 1900 2 F 443. As per Lord Kyllachy's judgement, which was an opinion held by Lord Justice-Clerk, Lord Trayner and Lord Moncreiff: “It has of course to be assumed that cruelty to animals is an offence,—that is to say, a crime. It is not so at common law, but it is made so by the Statute 13 and 14 Vict. cap. 92”.

"Volostrum doesn’t contain antibodies which might be required by a calf."

The above statement has been accepted in Scottish law to be true and has been used to prosecute a farmer. It was made by Procurator Fiscal David Howdle during the trial against Daniel Quinn on 17 November 1997.

It is however an intentional lie and one the Crown Office are more than willing to perpetuate as shown in Deputy Crown Agent, Bill Gilchrist’s letter of 10 October 2003. Mr Gilchrist states “It is not clear, whether, Volostrum is an adequate substitute for colostrum” and he goes on to state that “it does not contain the required antibodies which might be required by a calf’.

The success or failure of a tenanted agricultural holding relies heavily upon the landlord/ tenant relationship with both parties working in partnership to the benefit of each other. Under the terms of Agriculture (Scotland) Act, 1948, Schedules 5 and 6, a landlord of an agricultural holding has a responsibility to manage the land and provide all means necessary to operate the unit as an agricultural holding in accordance with the rules of good estate management i.e. the landlord has to provide, repair and improve fixed equipment e.g. sheds, drainage, fences, etc such that the occupier of the land can efficiently maintain adequate production of quality produce.