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Animal Welfare Taken Seriously by the Courts

05 September 2013

NEW ZEALAND - A Farm worker has been sentenced in Hamilton for animal cruelty, after breaking the tails of more than 40 cows.

Commenting on the sentence, Mr Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy Spokesperson said: “Federated Farmers feels the sentencing sends a clear message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.”

The former farm worker was sentenced to four months' home detention and disqualified from working with dairy cattle for five years after pleading guilty to 46 animal cruelty charges laid by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Mr Leferink added: “We need to learn from these issues and minimise the opportunity of this happening again. We feel this sentencing has got the balance right and by no means undermines the seriousness of the crime.

“It is also important to note that there are resources available to farmers and their staff. Dairy NZ offers farmers confidential support where animal welfare may be at risk.

"This service has been successful in helping farmers manage their animals and farm to get back on track,” concluded Mr Leferink.

Federated Farmers Employment Spokesperson, Ms Katie Milne, said harming animals is unacceptable in any case.

“We have had a few cases rear their heads due to the calving season. This is a time to assess who we are hiring whether they are hot-headed and prone to lashing out,” said Ms Milne.

“All staff need education on how to handle animals because animal abuse is inexcusable. We recently sent out an important survey to our members regarding the issue, and hope to get some conclusive information on how we can better inform our members.”


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