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Bacup petting farm owner plans protest
10:00am Wednesday 18th July 2012 in News
THE OWNER of a petting farm taken to court by Rossendale Council for health and safety breaches is planning to march his animals through Bacup in protest.
Terry Bork, 49, who runs Animal Quackers, was given a five month prison sentence, suspended for two years, for breaches relating to an E-Coli risk at his Huttock Top Farm venue in Bacup.
He was also charged with operating a riding establishment without a licence and failing to provide a suitable supply of hot running water to the wash stations, and was also given 240 hours unpaid work.
Magistrates said that it had been a “persistent and flagrant disregard” of health and safety regulations.
But Bork claims he is being victimised by the council, and now plans to take to the streets with “at least 300” supporters and his animals, even though he has had to sell some to fund work the council wanted carrying out.
He said: “We are planning a protest march through Bacup with the animals and at least 300 people.
“I have been victimised by the council, I am 100 per cent sure of it. I am seeking meetings with the council. I want a cards on the table approach. But I have been told that they want to shut me down and they want my land for redevelopment, but I’m going nowhere.”
Animal Quackers was imposed with a 28-day closure order around two weeks ago, but Bork said they would be re-opening as soon as that runs out.
Rossendale Council barr-ister Tom Lord asked the court to award over £2,200 costs to the council, to offset the “considerable cost to the public purse”, but Burnley Magistrates’ Court only made Bork pay £260 costs, as he is currently on Jobseekers’ Allowance.
Helen Lockwood, chief executive of Rossendale Council, said: “The decision to take action against Mr Bork wasn’t taken lightly and following his failure to respond to numerous advice notices issued over the three years, we felt we had no other course of action but to proceed with enforcement and prosecution to protect members of the public from a potential EColi 0157 outbreak”.