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'Devious' black market cattle farmer jailed.

A FARMER who made a fortune buying and selling cattle on the black market has been jailed. Paul Vizza, aged 57, dealt in cows the authorities knew nothing about.
 
Vizza admitted an array of animal welfare offences including moving animals without licences, failing to maintain a cattle passport system and proper animal identification systems and failing to notify animal deaths.

He was jailed for six months, with £20,000 in costs. Judge Paul Thomas also confiscated £143,000, which he ruled represented some of the profit Vizza had made.

Swansea Crown Court heard how Vizza maintained a dairy herd at Brynfa Farm, Hermon. Alexander Greenwood prosecuting, said there had been several years of Vizza failing to comply with legislation designed to prevent the spread of animal diseases. He said Vizza was responsible for "hundreds of failings over a number of years”.
 
As the authorities closed in and began warning him of prosecution, he protested he was mentally ill and failed to provide documentation, attend meetings or answer questions.
 
At one stage he claimed that he had “completely forgotten” that he owned a £2m  farm near Steynton.
 
Judge Thomas said that he had no doubt Vizza had deliberately flouted the law to make money and that, as the net began to close, he salted it away. He described Vizza as dishonest and devious and said most of his so-called explanations were simply unbelievable.

Vizza will serve an extra 18 months if he does not pay the £143 within three months, and an extra six months if he fails to pay the £20,000 within six months.

In addition to the hard work and diligence of the Animal Welfare Team at Pembrokeshire CC in bringing the prosecution, recognition must also to the AFI from Carmarthen Financial Crime Unit who supported the POCA confiscation.