Canterbury farmer sentenced for reckless ill-treatment of a calf

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Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A Rolleston pig and cattle farmer has been fined $3,500 for failing to euthanise an extremely emaciated calf, with body sores and hundreds of maggots in its mouth.

John William McFall, 55, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court yesterday on 1 animal welfare charge. He also incurred fees of $581.50 for veterinary costs and $130 for court costs.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) national manager animal welfare & NAIT compliance, Gray Harrison, says people have a responsibility to prevent animal suffering and to ensure their animals' needs are met.

"Mr McFall caused this animal to suffer unnecessarily. It had been left to suffer for 48 hours."

The charge relates to a visit to Mr McFall's property, by MPI animal welfare inspectors, on 3 April 2020, following a complaint from the public.

"Initially the officers thought the calf was dead. It was extremely emaciated with body sores and hundreds of maggots in its mouth.

"A vet inspection concluded the emaciated calf had been lying down for a significant period, and it had been unable to move for at least a day.

"The calf had been suffering from severe internal parasitism which led to weight loss. This situation was totally avoidable. Mr McFall did not give the animal the care it needed.

"It would have been extremely stressed because of severe hunger and not being able to get up.

"We strongly encourage any member of the public who is aware of animal ill-treatment or cruelty to report it to the MPI animal welfare complaints freephone 0800 00 83 33 so that prompt action can be taken," says Mr Harrison.

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