New Zealand Law Society - Jail and $30,000 fine for animal abuse in Manawatu

Jail and $30,000 fine for animal abuse in Manawatu

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The Ministry of Primary Industries says a Palmerston North man has been jailed for two years and his wife fined $30,000 after pleading guilty to a total of 20 charges relating to the abuse of cows and calves in their care.

Both were sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on 26 November. The couple was also disqualified from owning animals for five years and ordered to pay court costs of $11,700 between them.

Malcolm and Cheryl Wood pleaded guilty to multiple charges under the Animal Welfare Act earlier this year, including wilful ill-treatment of cows and calves that were part of a dairy herd they were in charge of.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) took the prosecution after receiving a complaint about the poor condition of a large number of cows and calves in the 500-plus herd.

A veterinarian found that multiple management issues had contributed to the farm's animal welfare issues, including insufficient feed and pasture on the farm and insufficient labour to satisfactorily run the farm.