7 Dec 2016

Dairy farmer fined for breaking cows tails

9:25 pm on 7 December 2016

A West Coast dairy farmer has been fined $15,000 as a result of a tail-breaking case involving more than 200 cows.

Warren Arthur McNabb was sentenced in the Nelson District Court today.

Last month the 58-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of reckless ill-treatment of two dairy cows by breaking their tails, and one charge of failing to ensure that 210 of his dairy cows with broken tails received treatment.

The case was brought after the Ministry for Primary Industries and a vet carried out an inspection on McNabb's farm, near Karamea, and discovered that nearly half of his 446 milking cows had broken tails.

As well as the fine, McNabb was banned from having any involvement with milking cows for six months and ordered to pay court costs, vet fees and solicitors' costs incurred by the ministry.

The compliance manager for the Ministry for Primary Industries, Howard Reid, said the vet who examined the cows was shocked by the damage.

"It's been compared, I guess, to having your fingers broken, in terms of level of pain.

"The vet said seen that he'd never seen anything of this scale in his professional career," he said.