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Tuesday 15 February 2005
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) believes that today's guilty
plea to animal welfare charges it laid against Northland farmer Alan William
Summers vindicates its decision to lay criminal charges. Sentencing is currently
scheduled for 11 March 2005.
MAF Team Manager Animal Welfare Earl Culham said this case stemmed from an
investigation conducted at the Summers' property near Kaitaia in July 2002.
The operation in 2002 involved a large team of MAF staff and assistants. Mr
Summers' property was grossly overstocked resulting in a large number of animals
in very poor or emaciated condition. As part of that operation it was necessary
to euthanase 68 cattle and seize 318.
"MAF takes seriously all incidences of alleged animal welfare abuse that are
brought to our attention and the Summers case was no exception. Our
investigations relied heavily on the assistance of local veterinarians and we
are thankful for their help and support. We also appreciated the support of farm
consultants and the Northland Federated Farmers.
"Fortunately most commercial farmers have high standards when it comes to the
care and welfare of their livestock, so these sorts of cases are quite uncommon.
However the outcome of this case should send a clear signal to all farmers that
there are enforceable standards of welfare that need to be complied with," Earl
Media contact: Brett Sangster, Director Corporate Communications Phone:
0-27-247 8777 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org