Ranked Tier 1 for Regulatory, Health and Safety and Licensing – The Legal 500 (2019)
“Tenacious and extremely thorough.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
Howard has extensive experience of prosecuting cases involving food hygiene in slaughterhouses, meat cutting plant and other food businesses. The cases involve complex EU and national legislation and highly technical scientific evidence.
He is regularly instructed by the Food Standards Agency and various local authorities.
He has been involved in a number of recent leading cases on the interpretation of animal welfare legislation in the Administrative Court, whilst prosecuting cases for the CPS on behalf of DEFRA.
He is highly experienced in such cases and regularly advises on complex points of law and the interpretation of EU and national legislation.
- Yorkshire Abattoir Services Limited (2018) – Prosecution of slaughterhouse operator for breaching hygiene regulations during the processing of ovine carcases.
- Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Limited (2018) – Prosecution of a slaughterhouse operator for breaching the regulations governing animal welfare at slaughter. Led by Queen’s Counsel in the Administrative Court, successfully arguing that offences under the EU and national regulations relating to the welfare of animals at the time of slaughter are strict liability offences requiring no mens rea (See Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Limited  EWHC 3122 (Admin))
- Najib & Sons Limited (2018) – Prosecution of a slaughterhouse operator, under the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Regulations, in the connection with the annual national survey for scrapie in sheep. The case involved 4 days of legal argument in the Crown Court on multiple issues. Howard was led by Queen’s Counsel in the Court of Appeal, but addressed the Court on whether DEFRA’s selection criteria for inclusion in the survey was lawful; successfully arguing, against Queen’s Counsel, that it was. (See Najib & Sons Limited  EWCA 909)
- Moy Park Limited (2017) – Prosecution of a slaughterhouse operator for welfare offences in relation to the way chickens awaiting slaughter were handled. Fines in excess of £100,000 were imposed.
- Woodward & others (2017) – Prosecution of the directors of a slaughterhouse and several slaughtermen for animal welfare offences arising from the slaughter of sheep. The case arose from the covert recording of slaughter operations by an animal welfare charity. Following a District Judge wrongly holding that the case had been brought out of time, Howard successfully argued in the Administrative Court that the prosecution had been brought in time. This is now the leading case on the time limit provisions under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (See Woodward & others  EWHC 1008)
- Riley (2016) – Prosecution of a slaughterhouse operator under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Howard was successful in legal argument against Queen’s Counsel in the lower court. In the Administrative Court, he successfully argued that the CPS is the ‘prosecutor’ for the time limit provisions of the legislation. (See Riley  EWHC 2531 (Admin))
- Yusuf (2016) – Prosecution in the Crown Court, on behalf of a local authority, of a repeat offender (described in the press as ‘Britain’s most notorious food criminal’) for breaching a Food Prohibition Order and food hygiene offences arising out of his operation of an illicit unregistered meat business, involving the use of multiple identities to hide his involvement.
- Zaman (2015) – Prosecution in the Crown Court, on behalf of a local authority, of the operator of an illicit unregistered meat cutting plant, which was being operated in filthy conditions. The identity of the operator was a central issue in the case.
- Wainwright (2014) – Prosecution in the Crown Court, on behalf of a local authority, of a man for operating an illicit sausage production facility in a filthy farm barn, involving numerous serious hygiene offences
- Holmes (2013) – Prosecution in the Crown Court of a farmer, under the Cattle Identification Regulations, in connection with the illicit disposal of cattle into the food chain.