A former Waikato sharemilker found responsible for tail injuries to 84 cows, leading to some tails being amputated, has been placed on home detention for seven months and banned from being in sole charge of animals for two years.
Following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries, Mark Donald Richardson was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court on two charges under the Animal Welfare Act that he had earlier pleaded guilty to.
“MPI takes animal welfare very seriously. Most people in charge of animals treat their animals well. One of the disturbing aspects in this case was that four of these animals had to have their tails amputated because their injuries were so severe,” MPI acting regional manager for animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Richard Knight, said.
A 50:50 sharemilker, Richardson was in sole charge of a herd of about 165 cows at Te Awamutu between November 2015 and February 1 2020. He sold the herd and because the new owner noticed lumps in many of the cow’s tails, a veterinarian examined all of the cows and found evidence of tail breaks.
“Mr Richardson admitted that he may have broken some tails accidentally, but 84 cows had injuries and would have suffered prolonged and significant pain, along with distress and the loss or damage to a body part. When we find evidence of animal neglect or deliberate abuse, we take action,” Knight said.
MPI encourages anyone with information about potential animal welfare offending to use its confidential hotline number 0800 00 83 33.