Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Waikato farming family fined $23k for cattle cruelty

A Waikato cattle farming family have been fined $23,000 for failing to provide sufficient food and care for their animals, resulting in more than half a dozen animal deaths.

Shane Ross Quigley, 49, Colin Ross Quigley, 75, and Margaret Heather Quigley, 72, were this week sentenced on four charges under the Animal Welfare Act in the Morrinsville District Court, following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Shane Quigley was fined $13,000, while Colin Quigley was fined $7,000 and Margaret Quigley, $3,000. Shane and Colin were also ordered to pay $4,058 in veterinarian costs, sought by MPI.

Colin and Shane Quigley were also disqualified from being in charge of more than 100 bovine cattle over the age of six months and 30 cattle under the age of six months. They will also need to employ a farm consultant to carry out visits every four to six weeks. 

Between July and August 2022, animal welfare inspectors and a veterinarian inspected the cattle at the Quigley’s 26-hectare Matamata farm, resulting in charges being laid.

“We found the Quigleys were raising about 158 mixed breed and 21 Limousin cattle, which was above the appropriate stocking rate for the feed available at their farm,” says MPI acting regional manager, animal welfare and NAIT compliance, Bianca Upton.

“Seven dead cows were discovered on the property, and the grass cover for grazing animals was minimal. They were also providing low-quality supplementary feed – some of it mouldy and rotten.

“Most farmers do the right thing for their animals, but the Quigleys were not living up to their welfare obligations and more of these animals were at a high risk of dying from starvation.”

Shane Quigley was in charge of the animals between 1 March and 7 July 2022. The court heard that due to an injury, his parents, Colin and Margaret Quigley, who own the farm and cattle, took over responsibility for the animals until 4 August 2022.

During the first visit by MPI, 39 cattle were visually assessed as being emaciated and the Quigleys were issued a legal notice of direction to immediately address these animal welfare issues.

A further inspection found a young bull, a Limousin cow and a young heifer were in serious need of veterinary care. Sadly, all three animals were euthanised due to their poor health.

“Our veterinarian assessed that it would have taken a number of months for these animals to have built up to the level of worm burden they were suffering from.”

“These animal deaths were preventable if the Quigleys had been meeting their animal welfare responsibilities,” says Ms Upton.

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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