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Bacup petting farm boss ‘played with lives’
A PETTING farm owner has admitted a series of health and safety offences relating to an E-Coli risk at his Bacup attraction.
Terry Bork, 49, who runs Animal Quackers, and Rossendale Council have been at loggerheads for several months over the Huttock Top Farm venture.
And, almost a fortnight ago, the authority secured a 28-day closure order against the petting farm, on public health grounds.
And, at Reedley Magistrates’ Court, Mr Bork pleaded guilty to four offences, between 2009 and 2011, concerning adequate controls against the potentially-deadly condition.
Prosecutors said Bork had ‘played with the lives of children’ by welcoming visitors to the farm when he knew that he was not complying with basic guidance given to him by council officers.
Before the case, Mr Bork told the Lancashire Telegraph he felt he had been ‘victimised’ by the authorities, and had carried out most of the improvements deemed necessary for him to re-open.
Later the council’s business director Stuart Sugarman said the authority had taken the decision to prosecute the farm ‘with a sad heart’ after repeated attempts to work with Mr Bork at the premises.
He added: “The decision to take action against Mr Bork wasn’t taken lightly and followed 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 E-Coli outbreak.”
Bork, who was bailed for pre-sentence reports, had carried out improvements, but it may have been ‘too little, too late’, the court heard.