10 May 2013

Guilty plea in animal neglect case

6:32 am on 10 May 2013

Milk Pride, the largest sharemilking company in New Zealand, has made an about-face and pleaded guilty to a representative charge of animal neglect, cutting short a defended hearing in Rotorua District Court.

Milk Pride and its two directors, along with its general manager and a farm manager had been charged with a total of 625 animal welfare offences.

They were accused of failing to provide sufficient food and water to about one thousand cows in the winter and early spring of 2009, on a Crafar owned farm near Taupo that they were running,.

The company and the four accused went on trial at the start of the week.

But the charges against the four men have been withdrawn in return for a guilty plea by the company.

The representative charge relates to about 400 cows identified as being in the worst condition at the time they were inspected.

Crown Prosecutor Fletcher Pilditch said the company will be sentenced on 29 May.