4 Oct 2017

Waihi farmer convicted on animal welfare charges

6:22 pm on 4 October 2017

A Waihi farmer who failed to get treatment for her worm-ridden sheep has been fined $3000 and banned from owning flocks of more than 100 sheep.

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Inspectors found a number of dead sheep on Elaine Evelyn Coxhead's farm (file photo). Photo: RNZ Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Elaine Evelyn Coxhead, 77, appeared in the Waihi District Court this week on animal welfare charges.

Inspectors visited the farm last year after the Ministry for Primary Industries received a complaint.

They found at least 15 dead sheep in various states of decomposition and some of them had been there for up to six months.

On a subsequent visit to the farm, a further 31 sheep were found dead.

The majority of the live sheep had dags and faecal samples showed some of them were infested with worms.

Brendon Mikkelsen from the Ministry for Primary Industries said one of the dead sheep that was tested had a worm egg count of 25,500.

An egg count of 500 was deemed to be significant, meaning the animal would require treatment.

"People who care for farm animals have a legal responsibility to ensure their animals don't suffer," Mr Mikkelsen said.

"The animals in this case clearly suffered, some for long periods of time."

Mr Mikkelsen said this farmer had previously come to the ministry's attention for failing to treat her sheep against fly-strike.

He said the latest incidents were disappointing.

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