22 Dec 2009

Farm pair convicted of maiming sick cow

1:16 pm on 22 December 2009

A judge in the Taihape District Court has found an Ohakune farmer and his manager guilty of the mistreatment of a Hereford cross cow, by maiming it.

In September last year the police charged farmer Ronald Frew and farm manager Geoffrey Donald, both 43, with wilful cruelty of the animal as well as ill-treating it.

Frew had testified that he instructed Donald to euthanase the cow, which was sick and in poor condition. The cow was shot and then impaled on a tractor fork to be transported to an offal pit, but was still alive and conscious.

Frew says he genuinely believed the animal was dead but Judge Gerard Lynch says both accused failed to take all reasonable steps to make sure of that.

He rejected defence submissions that both men be discharged without conviction because of the likely consequences on their careers, and fined them $750 each plus court costs.