A former Waikato sharemilker found responsible for tail injuries and amputations to 84 cows has been placed on home detention for seven months and banned from being in sole charge of animals for two years, following a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) investigation.
Mark Donald Richardson, 48, was sentenced in the Hamilton District Court today on two charges under the Animal Welfare Act which he earlier pleaded guilty to.
“MPI takes animal welfare very seriously. Most people in charge of animals treat their animals well. One of the disturbing aspects in this case was that four of these animals had to have their tails amputated because their injuries were so severe,” says MPI acting regional manager, animal welfare and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) compliance, Richard Knight.
A 50:50 sharemilker, Mr Richardson was in sole charge of a herd of about 165 cows at Te Awamutu between November 2015 and 1 February 2020. After he sold the herd, the new owner noticed lumps in many of the cow’s tails. A vet examined the cows and found evidence of tail breaks.
“Mr Richardson admitted that he may have broken some tails accidentally, but 84 cows had injuries and would have suffered prolonged and significant pain, along with distress and the loss or damage to a body part. When we find evidence of animal neglect or deliberate abuse, we take action,” said Mr Knight.
MPI encourages anyone with information about potential animal welfare offending to use its confidential hotline number 0800 00 83 33.