A Taranaki farmer has been fined $20,000 for breaking the tails on more than half the cows in his dairy herd.
Rodney Spence Wilson pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Welfare Act involving the wilful ill-treatment of 157 cows.
He was also charged with using vice grips on the animals.
The New Plymouth District Court heard many of the cows had multiple breaks in their tails and 14 cows showed signs of suffering a recent break.
SPCA spokesperson Jackie Poles-Smith says the practice of tail-breaking in cows is out-dated, and unacceptable to most dairy farmers
MS Poles-Smith says Mr Wilson's actions are not the norm, and most farmers are onside with the SPCA's opposition to the practice.