Friday, April 19, 2024

Family fined for cattle welfare breach

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Several animals died after owners failed to provide enough feed and care, court finds.
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A Waikato farming family have been fined $23,000 for failing to provide sufficient food and care for their cattle, which resulted in the death of more than half a dozen animals.

Shane Ross Quigley, 49, Colin Ross Quigley, 75, and Margaret Heather Quigley, 72 appeared in the Morrinsville District Court and were sentenced on four charges under the Animal Welfare Act following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Shane was fined $13,000, Colin was fined $7000 and Margaret, $3000. Shane and Colin were also ordered to pay $4058 in veterinarian costs.

Colin and Shane were also disqualified from being in charge of more than 100 cattle over the age of six months and 30 cattle under the age of six months.

They are required to employ a farm consultant to carry out visits every four to six weeks.

The MPI claimed that between July and August 2022, animal welfare inspectors and a veterinarian inspected the cattle at the Quigleys’ 26 hectare Matamata farm.

The Quigleys failed to adhere to the advice of inspectors and vets, ultimately resulting the preventable deaths of animals on their farm. Photo: Supplied/MPI

“We found the Quigleys were raising about 158 mixed breed and 21 Limousin cattle, which was above the appropriate stocking rate for the feed available at their farm,” said Bianca Upton, the MPI’s acting regional manager of animal welfare and NAIT compliance.

“Seven dead cows were discovered on the property and the grass cover for grazing animals was minimal.

“They were also providing low-quality supplementary feed, some of it mouldy and rotten.”

Shane was in charge of the animals between March 1 and July 7 2022. Due to an injury to his parents, Colin and Margaret, who own the farm and cattle, he took over responsibility for the animals until August 4 2022. 

The court was told that during the MPI’s first visit, 39 cattle were visually assessed as being emaciated and the Quigleys were issued a legal notice of direction to immediately address these animal welfare issues. 

A further inspection found a young bull, a Limousin cow and a young heifer were in serious need of veterinary care because of conditions such as worms and emaciation and were euthanised due to their poor health.

“Our veterinarian assessed that it would have taken a number of months for these animals to have built up to the level of worm burden they were suffering from,” Upton said.

“These animal deaths were preventable if the Quigleys had been meeting their animal welfare responsibilities.”

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