A West Coast dairy farmer has been sentenced in the Christchurch District Court for a serious animal welfare offence after almost half of the cows in a herd of 500 were found to have injured or broken tails.
Michael Joseph Jackson admitted a charge of failing to alleviate pain or distress in 230 injured dairy cattle.
He was sentenced to 300 hours community service, and banned from owning cows for five years.
Canterbury/Westland district compliance manager Peter Hyde said a veterinarian discovered the cows had fractured or dislocated tail bones, or soft tissue damage as a result of their tails being twisted or lifted.
He said it is the largest percentage of animals in a single herd known to have been deliberately injured.
The injuries were inflicted in 2010. The farm owner was alerted by another farm worker and Jackson was suspended.