16 Jan 2010

Farmer refused offers of help

6:02 am on 16 January 2010

A former Rotorua farmer convicted of ill treating his stock was offered help when his animals were seen to be struggling, but refused to take it.

Mark Spitz has been convicted in the Rotorua District Court on a number of charges of ill treatment to farm animals.

He was sentenced to 250 hours community service and ordered to pay $9340 in reparation.

The Ministry of Agriculture first received complaints in 2007 about dead and starving cattle on his properties.

Federated Farmers says mistreating animals is unacceptable, but in this case it was due to incompetence and incapability rather than malicious intent.

It says Spitz has sold all of his farming interests and is now studying law.