Bernard Harry Jacks Dunlop
Published on stuff.co.nz 19/11/2021
A man who broke dozens of cow tails has sworn off farming, but may yet be subject to more criminal proceedings thanks to his ill-treatment of animals.
Bernard Harry Jacks Dunlop should not find it hard to keep his promise, as he was banned by Judge Jonathan Krebs on Friday from having control over farm animals.
Dunlop was sentenced in the Dannevirke District Court on Friday to four months and two weeks’ home detention for ill-treating dairy cows on the family farm.
The Ministry for Primary Industries launched an investigation in May 2019 after a routine inspection of his 152-strong herd raised concerns about broken tails.
Cows can suffer tail breaks accidentally, but having more than a few in a herd was cause for concern.
A vet who inspected the herd found 127 of the cows had at least one break in the tail bone.
Some breaks were extremely close to the hips, as opposed to near the tip, which would have required significant force.
None of the breaks had been treated.
As cows naturally flick their tails to swat flies away, they would have suffered constant pain.
Dunlop admitted causing 56 breaks at various times when he lost his temper in the milking shed.
He also admitted to cutting the horns off two cows with loppers without administering anaesthetic first.
Defence lawyer Darren Foster said Dunlop had left the dairy industry, deciding he was not suited to it, which was difficult as his family ran two farms.
“This is something he has done his whole life. He has to completely change where he is going forward in life.”
But the farming life was not quite done with him, as the ministry was carrying out another investigation into him, Foster said.
Ministry lawyer Anna Barham confirmed another investigation, unrelated to the offending for sentencing on Friday, was ongoing.
The judge said it was “quite concerning” offending which needed a sentenced that enforced accountability.
The ban from farm animals was not as serious at it usually would be since Dunlop had left farming.
However, Dunlop’s personal situation needed to be taken into account.
A psychologist found Dunlop had various stressors in his life, including the ones that came with farming.