The owner of a farm on the Burin Peninsula has been charged with animal cruelty.

In early January, the SPCA had alerted police to reports of howling dogs in the area on a remote road near Winterland. Following the complaint, RCMP discovered eight dead animals on the farm.

Five cows, two sheep and a goat had perished inside a series of sheds.

Police conducted the investigation with assistance from the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer.  

The autopsy found evidence for a charge of cruelty, and RCMP Sgt. Howard Gale said three other charges from the Animal Protection Act are also pending against the 49-year-old farm owner.

"One for causing unnecessary suffering to animals, one for failing to provide water to an animal and another for failing to provide shelter. And the final two, the water and the shelter are related to dogs," Gale said.

Police said the man was arrested on Feb. 11 and appeared in court that same day. 

An RCMP news release issued on Thursday didn't name the man charged, but CBC reported last month that Tony Barrett, the owner of the animals, was present on the night of Jan. 6 when police searched the property. 

Police remove other animals 

Police said seven ponies, two goats and two dogs were removed from the property on Wednesday and early Thursday, as one of the conditions of the charges. 
  
"All of the animals have been removed from the property in conjunction with the office of the chief provincial vet and they've been taken to other farms in the area and are being cared for," Gale told CBC.
 
Gale said the RCMP may return to the farm when the snow thaws, to look for more dead animals.  

The accused has been released from custody and is on strict conditions, including not being permitted to have the custody or control of any animal. 

His next court appearance is set for March 5, where he will enter pleas to the charges.