A Northland contract milker who was secretly filmed striking cows has lost his job and his home.
Footage of the man hitting the animals on the legs with a metal bar went viral last week when the animal rights group Farmwatch released the video to Ministry of Primary Industries and news media.
The Northland Rural Support Trust said it was now working with the man who is devastated.
The man was no longer employed at the Mangapai farm and has had to move out of the house that went with his contract, trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said.
"He is being vilified on social media and his life is in pieces," she said.
"He's done a lot of good stuff in his time, and he's essentially a good person who's made an awful mistake."
The man had acknowledged he was wrong to beat the cows and had expressed remorse, Mrs Jonker said.
The farmer was also being tried and convicted on social media, and that was unfair, she said.
She said the trust was providing moral and pratcical support to the man, who is aged in his 60s.
Ministry for Primary Industries officials visited the farm south of Whangarei last week to investigate the complaint by Farmwatch.
Ministry compliance manager Gary Orr said the allegations of animal abuse were under investigation.
"MPI can't go into any further detail or specifics of the case as we do not want to prejudice what may be provided to a court," he said.