New Zealand Law Society - MPI prosecutes dairy farmer for incurring unreasonable and unnecessary pain

MPI prosecutes dairy farmer for incurring unreasonable and unnecessary pain

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A Waikato man has been disqualified from owning bovine animals for three years as a result of tail-breaking case involving over 300 cows in his care, MPI has reported.

Glen Raymond Steiner pleaded guilty to 1 representative charge of ill-treatment of animals in the Tokoroa District Court on 26 February.

The contract milker was sentenced to four months' community detention and 120 hours' community work in addition to being disqualified from owning or managing any bovine animal for three years.

Of the 313 cows in his care, most were found to have been handled in a way which caused tail breakages.

Judge Snell commented that Mr Steiner’s actions were in the upper limit on this type of offence, but MPI says the Judge gave discounts in sentencing for it being Steiner’s first conviction, personal circumstances and an early guilty plea.

Steiner’s actions were deemed to have caused unreasonable and unnecessary pain and distress to cows in his care, in the agreed ‘Summary of Facts’.

As a contract milker, it was his responsibility to ensure all animals on the property were handled in a way that minimised pain, distress, and injury – including tail breakages.

MPI says scientific research indicates the breaking of a tail requires significantly more force to break a tail than dislocate a finger.

Such breakages are also found to cause immediate and severe pain or distress to bovine animals.