South Canterbury lifestyle farmer fined $17,500 for starving and ill-treating animals

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Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328

A lifestyle farmer has been fined $17,500 for the reckless ill-treatment of his sheep, failing to provide them with proper feed, and not treating them for parasites.

Donald Charles Pelvin, 67, was sentenced in Christchurch District Court today on 3 animal welfare charges brought by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

MPI national animal welfare and NAIT compliance manager Gray Harrison says MPI investigates reports of animal mistreatment and takes appropriate action against offenders.

"These animals were Mr Pelvin’s responsibility and he failed them.

"Mr Pelvin did not give them the feed and veterinary treatment they needed and as a result they suffered unnecessary pain and distress.

"Animal Welfare Inspectors visited Mr Pelvin's property, a 12.5 acre lifestyle block at Pleasant Point, on 5 August 2019 following a complaint from a member of the public.

"At the time of the inspection Mr Pelvin was responsible for 75 sheep and 27 lambs.

"There was very low pasture cover in the paddocks and no supplementary feed available," says Mr Harrison.

As a result of the lengthy and combined effects of minimal feed and heavy parasite burden, the inspection identified 20 emaciated sheep along with 6 dead in and around the water race. Another sheep was found tangled in fencing wire.

"Thirteen of the 20 sheep required euthanasia to end their suffering. The other 7 were able to be managed in order to save their imminent lambs," says Mr Harrison.

In New Zealand, everyone must take responsibility for animal welfare. 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.

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