6 Sep 2013

Decision reserved in seal-clubbing deaths

7:38 pm on 6 September 2013

A Nelson District Court judge has reserved his decision in the trial of a man who clubbed 23 seals to death on the Kaikoura coast.

Jemaal Peter Roy Large, of Blenheim, denies three counts of wilfully ill-treating animals causing their death.

Mr Large has admitted killing the New Zealand fur seals, or kekeno, at Ohau Point on the Kaikoura Coast in November 2010 but said he had legally hunted them.

The hunting of wild animals is allowed by the Animal Welfare Act, under which Mr Large is charged, but it is illegal to kill fur seals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The defence admitted Mr Large would have accepted charges under that act but denies causing wilful ill-treatment to the seals under the Animal Welfare Act.

Judge Peter Hobbs will deliver his verdict later this month.