Published on stuff.co.nz Oct 17 2014
A Stratford dairy farmer who twisted and broke his cows’ tails did it to vent his frustration due to an anger management problem, the New Plymouth District Court heard today.
Timothy James Gilbert, 38, was sentenced to nine months supervision, 260 hours community work and ordered to pay $1143 for vet fees and a further $10,000 as a deterrent.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after an inspector from the Ministry for Primary Industries found 110 cows on his farm with maimed tails.
Some animals had multiple breaks in their tails, an injury that would take considerable force to inflict, Judge Noel Walsh said.
Gilbert had told the inspector, “big animals like cows can cope with more pain than small animals.”
Walsh did not ban Gilbert from farming because that would cripple him personally and financially.
“It was a time of your life when your judgement was clouded with personal issues.”
Gilbert is the second Taranaki man to be charged with breaking cows’ tails he was meant to be caring for in the last two years.
Saul Jacob Beaumont, who also had anger problems, was sentenced to four months’ home detention and disqualified from working with dairy cattle for five years after breaking the tails of 46 cows on the Opunake farm where he was working last year.