A Rotorua farm manager has been convicted and fined $3,500 after admitting he used a 4-wheel drive to hit dairy cows.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kerry James Murphy was also ordered to pay court costs of $130 and witness expenses of $100 when he appeared in the Huntly District Court yesterday.
Murphy was employed as a manager at a dairy farm in Te Kauwhata at the time of the incident.
On the morning of 19 April, 2015, Murphy drove his 4x4 vehicle down a farm race to return a herd of dairy cows that had broken out, back to their original paddock.
Once the cows started moving, Murphy drove in behind them, hitting them with the bull bars of his 4x4 vehicle.
Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman, Gary Orr, says the cows at the back of the herd were running as fast as they could, however, Murphy continued to drive into them with his 4x4 vehicle.
"Hitting a cow with a vehicle is never reasonable nor necessary and can lead to cows receiving injuries causing significant pain and distress including hip dislocation and fractured limbs and could even result in death if the animal was severely injured.
"Our investigation into this incident was comprehensive and thorough and resulted in Murphy being convicted and fined under the Animal Welfare Act.
"The outcome of this case sends a very clear message to anyone who causes animal's unreasonable and unnecessary pain and distress. Quite simply, this sort of cruelty will not be tolerated."