Magnus Valdinar Karlsson

Published in 11/05/2021

A Timaru man has been ordered to pay $5400 after admitting one charge of ill-treatment of an animal and one charge of reckless ill-treatment of an animal after animal welfare officers found a severely emaciated cow and a pig on his property in such poor condition they had to be euthanised.

Magnus Valdimar Karlsson, 56, was sentenced on the two charges when he appeared in the Timaru District Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty in April.

Ministry for Primary Industries animal welfare inspectors visited Karlsson’s property on August 26, 2019.

At the time, he leased a 25 acre block on Coonoor Rd, Timaru. The inspectors found four cows, three bobby calves, one rising one-year-old calf, 40 sheep, 20 lambs, seven pigs and three horses.

In a summary of facts, read to the court, the inspectors said they located a thin cow which was laterally recumbent and moribund. The cow appeared to be emaciated and was frothing at the mouth.

A veterinarian examined the cow and recommended euthanasia as soon as possible to end her suffering.

The veterinarian stated in her report that the cow was “visibly emaciated as well as dehydrated” and that she was “irrecoverable and would never get up”.

“Postmortum findings showed that there was no subcutaneous fat and there was extensive muscle wasting; and that the rumen of the cow was “absolutely full of plastic”.

The animal welfare inspectors also observed plastic bags, plastic trays, rope, string, wire, metal, wood and old fencing wire lying around the paddocks. There were sheep and pigs eating plastic bags and plastic trays.

At the southern end of the farm there were pigsties which housed seven pigs.

“The pigsties provided inadequate shelter with no covered dry areas for the pigs,” the summary of facts says.

“One of the pigs was non-weight bearing on its right front leg and squealed as it limped around the pen. The leg appeared swollen.”

The veterinarian also examined the pig and opined that “the injured pig was non weight-bearing on its right front leg. The fetlock joint was massively swollen, with an old laceration visible on the dorso-medial aspect”.

She recommended euthanasia as “the pig was suffering and unlikely to recover”.

Karlsson was interviewed on August 28, 2019, and said he lived about 200-300 metres away from the property and when asked how often he checked on the animals he answered “I am there most days”.

When asked about how long the pig had been injured for, Karlsson said he had seen “the pig limping about a week ago”.

According to the summary of facts, Karlsson said he had not called a vet as he “was going to see if she was going to come right”. He also said that he had not noticed the front right leg was cut and swollen until the day MPI visited and the pig was euthanised.

Judge Joanna Maze acknowledged Karlsson’s early guilty plea, co-operation with MPI and remorse, and said this was likely an instance of “well-intentioned but incompetent care”.

“A cattle beast isn’t going to eat plastic by choice … the beast had nothing to eat,” Maze said.

Maze said animal welfare issues were taken seriously by the public, and “the lack of feed, and allowing plastic rubbish to accumulate allowed an adverse situation for the animals to continue longer than you admit”.

Maze started from a baseline fine of $9000 in total, before ordering him to pay $5400.

She said Karlsson needed to have been extra careful regarding animal welfare as he was not based at the site.

Karlsson’s counsel Leticia Glover said Karlsson had suffered significant damage to his reputation and this was his only offence.

He has since destocked the property, Glover said.



Published in 15/04/2021

Magnus Valdinar Karlsson

A South Canterbury man has admitted animal cruelty charges.

Magnus Valdinar Karlsson, 57, was convicted on his guilty pleas to cruelty or ill-treatment of an animal and omitting to treat or euthanise an animal when he appeared before Judge Joanna Maze in the Timaru District Court on Tuesday.

The offending occurred against a pig and cow between July 26 and August 26, 2019.

Defence lawyer Thomas Nation said while there was not yet an agreed summary of facts, one would be ready at sentencing.

Karlsson had no previous convictions, Nation said.

Judge Maze remanded Karlsson at large until sentencing on May 11.