26 Jul 2013

Animal cruelty prosection backed by farming groups

1:56 pm on 26 July 2013

Farming, dairy industry and veterinary representatives are strongly backing the SPCA's action in prosecuting a Taranaki farm worker for breaking cows' tails.

Saul Jacob Beaumont appeared in the Hamilton District Court this week on 46 animal cruelty charges laid by the SPCA.

The court heard that a vet who inspected the herd on the Opunake Farm where he worked found 200 of the 500 cows had suffered tail damage.

Beaumont admitted breaking the tails of 40 cows by twisting them. He will be sentenced in September and the SPCA is seeking to have him banned from owning or working with animals for at least 20 years.

The Veterinary Association says that will send a strong message to those who are cruel to animals.

Federated Farmers Waikato chairperson Chris Lewis also supports the SPCA's stance, and the action of the farm owner in reporting the tail breaking to the Society and dismissing the employee.

Mr Lewis says Federated Farmers is considering the advice it can give farmers on dealing with this sort of extreme case.

Dairy industry body DairyNZ has an Early Response Service, offering farmers confidential support where animal welfare may be at risk.

It says the service has been successful in helping farmers manage their animals and farm to get back on track.

DairyNZ team leader for animal husbandry and welfare, Nita Harding, says cows will easily comply if they are treated well.