Farm livestock is increasingly being tethered in unsuitable conditions, according to the SPCA.

In the last six months the charity has dealt with cases where calves have been left tied-up on open pieces of land with no shelter.

They have also handled complaints involving goats being tied to construction machinery.

Dogs are also often found tied up in unsuitable conditions but the SPCA finds that some islanders are even less prepared to look after livestock properly.

Inspector Glyn Roberts told the Sun some islanders were taking on animals like goats and cows that they simply did not have the space or facilities to keep.

Mr Roberts said tethering should never be considered as a permanent means of managing livestock.

He added: “ Other alternatives should always be explored. The person tethering an animal becomes responsible for ensuring not only that the animal is protected from the wind and the rain but also the sun and stray dogs.

“In addition any food or water that the animal requires has to be provided by the owner as the animal is not in a position to care for itself.”

Mr Roberts warned that there was a legal obligation on owners of all animals to ensure they care for their animals appropriately.

He said failure to do so could lead to a court appearance and a criminal record: “One of the main problems that we encounter is people who obtain animals which they do not physically have the space or facilities for.

“And as a result they keep them in a way that compromises their welfare.

“All animals should be afforded what are called the five freedoms: the freedom from hunger and thirst, the freedom from discomfort, the freedom from pain, injury and disease, the freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress.

“By using this checklist anyone can do a basic assessment on the welfare of their animals.

“Clearly the concept of what is ‘normal’ behavior can be open to interpretation but your veterinary surgeon or the SPCA can give you guidance on what is or is not acceptable.”

By Simon Jones BermudaSun