Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Former Farmer of Year responsible for death of 29 cattle

A Levin farmer, who was once named Taranaki/Manawatu Young Farmer of the Year, has been found responsible for the deaths of 29 cattle and fined $32,000, following a successful prosecution by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Daniel Kilsby-Halliday, 40, (pictured at the Taranaki/Manawatu Young Farmer of the Year event in 2010, where he placed third) was sentenced in the Levin District Court on five charges under the Animal Welfare Act, following a The court also ordered him to pay $7,161.20 in veterinarian and associated costs.

“The cattle would have been severely stressed because of a lack of food. Some were also affected by parasites and some of them would have died where they collapsed because they were too weak and could no longer get up off the ground,” says MPI national manager, Animal Welfare and National Animal Identification & Tracing (NAIT) compliance, Gray Harrison. 

“The cattle were about 200 metres from the farmers house and their slow deterioration should have been noticed through regular checks of his animals. People in charge of animals are responsible for their welfare at all times including providing sufficient food and timely veterinarian care. Mr Kilsby-Halliday failed to meet these expectations.

“Today’s sentence should send a strong animal welfare message to all people in charge of animals – there are consequences for poor care of animals,” he said.

In August 2021, MPI responded to a complaint of about at least 10 dead cattle being seen in an area of Mr Kilsby-Halliday’s farm. An Animal Welfare Inspector visited the property and found a total of 29 dead cattle which a veterinarian estimated would have died over about three weeks from starvation and disease. Two other cattle were euthanised by the farmer before MPI arrived to assess all cattle.

Fifty-nine other cattle had been moved to other paddocks with moderate grass cover before MPI visited. Of these, 27 were considered so thin that urgent action was needed to improve their condition.

“Mr Kilsby-Halliday is an experienced farmer and knew what his responsibilities were to his animals. Most farmers do the right thing for their animals – checking on them regularly and taking action if they notice changes in their health – but he didn’t. When we find evidence of neglect or cruelty, we will investigate and put the matter before the court,” Mr Harrison says.

MPI strongly encourages 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.

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