20 Feb 2013

Community sentence for farmer who broke cows' tails

8:13 pm on 20 February 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries says it is satisfied with the sentence handed down to a West Coast dairy farmer in relation to the broken tails of 230 cows.

Michael Jackson, an assistant herd manager, admitted a charge of failing to alleviate pain after 26% of his herd's tails were broken, although it could not be proved who broke the tails.

The 43-year-old was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and banned from owning cows for five years.

Canterbury Westland District compliance manager says it was the worst case of tail breaking the ministry had seen, but there was no other mistreatment of the cows.

Peter Hyde says the practice of forcing cows into the milking shed causing breaks and kinks in their tails is not widespread, but is sometimes used by inexperienced farmers.