Published on stuff.co.nz 5/11/2019
A Judge said breaking cow tails could effect New Zealand’s animal welfare reputation, after he fined a farm worker in court on Tuesday.
Farm worker Kenneth Cooper-Campbell, 25, of Tokanui, admitted having ill-treated animals by manipulating their tails while he worked on a Southland farm in 2018.
A judge alone trial before Judge Russell Collins begun in the Invercargill District Court on Monday.
On Tuesday, Cooper-Campbell was fined $4000 and ordered to pay about $780 in costs to the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Judge Collins, in sentencing, said Cooper-Campbell had always accepted some level of culpability.
For sentencing purposes, Judge Collins deemed he would be accountable for 10 of the breaks.
Cooper-Campbell was working on a farm owned by Forderiver Dairy, on South Hillend-Dipton Rd in South Hillend at the time.
A vet found at least 90 cows at the farm had their tails broken in a six-seven week period in 2018.
If Cooper-Campbell were to come before the court on animal welfare charges again, he would inevitably be facing disqualification from working in the industry, Judge Collins said.
Defence lawyer Richard Little, in his final submissions, said a large number of comments online were derogatory towards Cooper-Campbell.
Judge Collins said Cooper-Campbell would have to shoulder some criticism for this crime.
In his closing submissions, prosecution lawyer Leo Stothart said animal cruelty detracted from New Zealand’s image.