Published on stuff.co.nz 31/10/2013
A Canterbury farmer has been convicted and fined $13,000 for the wilful ill-treatment of animals.
Francis Redmond was found guilty in Christchurch District Court last week on eight charges under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
In July 2006, a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) animal welfare investigator visited a Greenpark property, near Lincoln, following a complaint about the condition of animals.
He found what he thought was a dead friesian cow lying in a hay barn near the farm house. Closer inspection revealed that the cow was still alive but near death, severely emaciated and lying on its side.
It appeared the animal had been placed in the barn and propped up against a wooden pallet. The cow had no access to water.
In an implement shed opposite the hay barn the inspector found a small friesian calf that was severely emaciated and unable to stand. Hay had been provided but the calf did not have access to water or milk on demand.
A third cow was seen sitting down next to a shelter belt and was unable to get to its feet owing to its poor body condition and weak state. There was no food or water available to this animal.
A veterinarian examined the animals and said they had to be put down.
A post-mortem showed that all three animals were infested with parasites and were selenium deficient, which would have contributed to the severe emaciation.
Redmond said he had been feeding the animals and giving them water. However, he had not sought professional assistance or euthanased the cattle within reasonable time — resulting in undue suffering and distress.
MAF investigations manager Greg Reid said Redmond was known to the animal welfare investigation team.
“This is not the first time Redmond has been prosecuted and convicted under the Animal Welfare Act for neglecting animals.
“He seems to have little understanding of the pain and suffering of his animals and did not seek veterinary help or euthanase the animals to end that suffering.”
The court did not disqualify Redmond.
However, Mr Reid said he needed to learn how to meet the health and welfare needs of his animals or he would continue to be prosecuted for ill-treatment.