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26 March 2008
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Animal Welfare Investigation Team are pleased with the conviction in the Christchurch District Court last week to a farmer for the wilful ill-treatment of animals.
Francis Redmond was found guilty of eight charges under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and was fined $13,000 and also ordered to pay court costs, solicitor fees and veterinary costs totalling $3450
In July 2006 a MAF Animal Welfare Investigator visited a Greenpark property following a complaint about the conditions of the animals on the farm. He found what he thought was a dead Friesian cow lying in a hay barn near the farm house. Closer inspection revealed that the cow was still alive but near death, severely emaciated and lying on its side. It appeared the animal had been placed in the barn and propped up against a wooden pallet. The cow had no access to water.
In an implement shed opposite the hay barn the Inspector found a small Friesian calf that was severely emaciated and unable to stand. Hay had been provided but the calf did not have access to water or milk on demand.
A third cow was seen sitting down next to a shelter belt and was unable to get to its feet due to its poor body condition and weak state. There was no food or water available to this animal.
A vet examined the animals and concluded that given they were so severely emaciated and unable to stand they required euthanasia. A post mortem showed that all three animals were infested with parasites and selenium deficient, which would have contributed to the severe emaciation.
Mr Redmond admitted to owning the cattle and stated that he had been feeding the animals and giving them water. However, he had not sought professional assistance or euthanased the cattle within reasonable time resulting in undue suffering and distress.
MAF Investigations Manager, Greg Reid, said that defendant was known to the Animal Welfare Investigation Team.
“This is not the first time Mr Redmond has been prosecuted and convicted under the Animal Welfare Act for neglecting animals. He seems to have little understanding of the pain and suffering of his animals and did not seek veterinary help or euthanase the animals to end that suffering.”
“This was a serious incident and I am disappointed that Mr Redmond has transgressed so soon after his last conviction. The Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on everyone who owns or is in charge of an animal to prevent pain, suffering and distress. The court saw fit not to disqualify Mr Redmond and he needs to understand his obligations under the Act and learn how to meet the health and welfare needs of his animals or he will continue to be prosecuted for ill-treatment.”
Greg Reid, Investigations Manager, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
Phone: 029 909 3544