Conviction upheld in wild goat meat case

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Media contact: Media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A Waitara man has lost his high court appeal against a conviction of selling illegally processed wild goat meat for human consumption.

Brian Terrence Crow, 64, had earlier been charged with three counts of selling non-complying animal product, together with another person, by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Mr Crow pleaded not guilty, largely on the grounds he was selling the goats alive to another party, and while he was allowing them to be processed on his property and that he sometimes helped, this was not part of the purchase agreement. He was convicted on 16 October 2014 in New Plymouth District and sentenced to 150 hours community work.

Mr Crow appealed his conviction, but it was upheld by the High Court in New Plymouth on 26 March 2015.

The charges related to Mr Crow rounding up wild goats around the Taranaki region and bringing them to his property where they were killed, processed and sold.

People supplying meat for sale for human consumption must source the meat from appropriate MPI registered suppliers to ensure that they are getting the meat from areas where there are no poison residues and the meat is inspected and processed at a registered facility.

MPI Compliance General Investigator, Niamh Murphy, says these regulations are in place to ensure the meat does not contain any poisons, diseases or bacterial contamination from processing.

“These regulations are to protect the health of consumers and MPI takes any breaches very seriously.”

MPI began investigating the slaughter and sale of goats at Mr Crow’s property after receiving a tip-off in January 2013.

MPI investigators executed a search warrant at Mr Crow’s house on 26 March 2013 finding about $2,000 in cash which Mr Crow referred to as “goat money”.

Investigators also found four deposit books dating back to 2005 showing more than $43,000 deposited with goats referenced on the stubs.

Evidence produced in court described Mr Crow and other parties rounding up and killing goats, skinning and gutting them and hanging them in a tree.

To report any suspect illegal home-kill sales please contact the MPI Foodline 0800 00 83 33. All calls are confidential.

Media contact 029 894 0328, media@mpi.govt.nz

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