New Brunswick

Farmer pleads guilty to having more than 19 head of cattle

Lee Murray of Indian Mountain pleaded guilty to having more than 19 head of cattle in his property without the proper permit.

Lee Murray of Indian Mountain fined $500, but says province should have bigger things to deal with

“It’s just bizarre the amount of money being wasted over 19 head of cattle,” said Lee Murray of Indian Mountain.

Lee Murray of Indian Mountain pleaded guilty Tuesday to having more than 19 head of cattle on his property without the proper permit.

The Department of Agriculture requires a farm with 20 or more cattle have a licence to operate.

Murray said the first he heard of a permit was when an officer from the agriculture department paid his farm a visit in 2014. He said there were approximately 60 Galloway beef cattle on the property at the time. The provincial government served him with papers in October 2014.

Murray said nearly two years later, there was no need for the province to take it this far.

Lee Murray's breed of choice is the Galloway, a heritage breed. (CBC)
"Work with the guy farming ... instead of dragging thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars and people running down from Fredericton, courts and everything else, lawyers and everything."It's just bizarre the amount of money being wasted over 19 head of cattle."

Murray said the province sent him mixed messages. He said a grant through the Department of Agriculture helped him buy a bull in 2011, when there were 18 cows already on his farm.

The bull wasn't there to square dance, he was there to do his job and he did his job.- Lee Murray

"The bull wasn't there to square dance, he was there to do his job and he did his job.

"The time to say anything was the time they paid for the bull."

Murray owns a construction company, and was hoping to expand his small farm when he retires. He said he won't let this stifle his appetite for farming. Murray plans to to apply for the farming permit immediately.

The CBC reached out to the Department of Agriculture but has not yet received a response.

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