Christopher John Tredinnick

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Christopher John Tredinnick

Published on 23/10/2020

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT A shearing contractor has been jailed for beating a lamb to death out of frustration over a broken pair of shears.

Christopher John Tredinnick repeatedly struck the animal, fracturing first its eye socket and then its skull during the incident at a North Canterbury farm in February.

The 51-year-old later lied to the farm’s owners about how it had died, claiming it had suffocated during shearing and told them he was taking it home to feed to his dog.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) investigated and Tredinnick was prosecuted, later pleading guilty to a charge of wilful ill-treatment of a lamb.

He was jailed for 16 months at Alexandra District Court on Friday but could apply for home detention, MPI said. He was also banned from being in charge of any animal for two years.

The incident happened at a farm in Oxford while Tredinnick was shearing the lamb.

As it began to struggle, his shears broke and he reacted by hitting the lamb in the eye with the shears’ tension knob, fracturing its eye socket.

Tredinnick put the lamb back in a holding pen, only to return and hit it again, fracturing its skull.

The lamb died from its injuries and when Tredinnick finished work he put the lamb in the cab of the vehicle, lying to the farm’s owners when they confronted him.

MPI investigators recovered the lamb’s remains from Tredinnick’s home, and a post-mortem examination revealed multiple fractures to its skull, which MPI said would have meant it suffered significant pain and distress before it died.

MPI’s national manager of animal welfare, Gray Harrison, said Tredinnick’s actions were appalling.

“He deliberately caused this lamb to suffer and he tried to hide that fact.

“Animals need and deserve to be treated with respect, and Mr Tredinnick fell well short of those expectations.

“This kind of offending by shearers is unusual. The majority are professional and do the right thing.

“However, our message for those who deliberately cause this kind of suffering is clear – we will investigate and place them before the court.”