Organic restaurant owner found guilty of animal cruelty

The owner of organic restaurant Down to Earth in Kensington, London, has been found guilty on five charges of animal cruelty.

Khalid Undre neglected to give his 20-strong herd of cows enough food or water during freezing winter conditions last January, resulting in the deaths of three cows – one of which was found dead after giving birth in the snow with another cow and its calf dying later. The surviving cattle were underweight and dehydrated.

Harrow Council Environmental Health inspectors found the cattle after receiving a tip-off from a concerned member of the public.

On its website, the organic vegetarian and vegan café, restaurant and shop, claims to be “environmentally sound, sustainable and animal friendly”, stating “We work hard to ensure that the organic produce we offer always meets the highest of standards: Our own”.

Undre denied the charges, but was found guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court , and, after pleading poverty, he was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and ordered to pay £2,500 towards prosecution costs.

“This was an appalling offence of animal cruelty made all the more grotesque by the cynical way in which this man paraded himself as a champion of ethical food standards,” commented councillor Susan Hall, Leader of Harrow Council.

Undre told the Evening Standard that he would appeal against the conviction, adding: “You can draw your own conclusions.”