14 Aug 2008

$15,000 fine for animal neglect

6:34 am on 14 August 2008

An Otago sheep farmer has been fined $15,000 for animal neglect and banned from owning or farming sheep for at least 10 years.

He's also been ordered to pay more than $15,000 in court costs.

MAF animal welfare officers began investigating John Dempster more than two years ago, following up a public complaint about the poor condition of sheep on one of his farms.

They found malnourished sheep on all three of his properties which were in a rundown state and short of feed.

He agreed to radical destocking which led to more than 1100 sheep being sold, but 445 emaciated sheep had to be put down.