Coleraine cattle producer fined for animal cruelty
June 2 2014
A Coleraine cattle producer has been fined $5000 with conviction and given an 18-month community corrections order after pleading guilty in the Hamilton Magistrates Court recently to 43 charges of cruelty, including 24 charges of aggravated cruelty.
The court was told that on 6 August 2012 , Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Officers received a report that animals were dying at the man's property.
During the initial inspection of the property, DEPI officers observed a significant number of recently deceased Hereford cattle and approximately 400 live cattle in poor body condition.
During this and subsequent follow up visits, staff recorded further deaths and euthanased cattle that were severely disabled and distressed.
Given the extent of the cruelty observed during the first visit DEPI staff returned to the property to ensure the accused had complied with issued legal notices.
DEPI's submission to the court noted that the welfare of animals must be the cornerstone of livestock enterprises and not second to economic gain.
Magistrate Ann McGarvie said the suffering that the animals endured would have been horrific.
"Many of the animals had attempted to get up over a considerable period of time and were unable to do so. In such instances you have a duty to either get rid of the animals or look after them."
DEPI Veterinary Officer Dr Claire Wade said the case should serve to remind livestock owners and managers that it is unacceptable to fail to provide adequate care, husbandry and treatment to livestock.
"Livestock owners or managers are expected to know the legal requirements pertinent to their business including Codes of Practice and National Standards. It is an offence to omit appropriate veterinary needs and management requirements of suffering or disabled livestock.
Information on Codes of Practice and Standards for care and husbandry of livestock is readily available.