11 Mar 2011

No Crafars charged with animal welfare offences

7:30 am on 11 March 2011

Those charged with animal welfare offences relating to one of the Crafar family dairy farms in receivership do not include any of the family's members.

Sixteen North Island dairy farms owned by the Crafar family were put into receivership in 2009, with debts of nearly $200 million.

At about the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) began investigating possible animal welfare breaches on the farms.

Following the investigation, MAF laid charges against five parties, for being owners or in charge of animals on a dairy farm at Taharua, southwest of Taupo, and not meeting their needs.

Information provided by the Ministry of Justice shows the accused include Milk Pride, a South Island professional dairy farming operation that milks 10,000 cows throughout the country.

Milk Pride faces 222 charges under two sections of the Animal Welfare Act.

Raymond Griffin from Taupo, who is named as the person in charge of animals on the Taharua farm, also faces 222 charges.

Milk Pride's two directors - Murray Flett from Otatara and Ross Cottier from Lumsden - and employee Craig Coote from Invercargill face 90 charges each.

The case was due to be called in Taupo District Court this week but has been delayed until 20 April.