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Sharemilker who bashed cows with a pipe given a slap on the wrist - SAFE NZ

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Northland sharemilker Mike Luke who was filmed repeatedly and violently bashing his cows was sentenced in the Whangārei District Court today and fined $3,130. The footage was taken by Farmwatch after complaints from farm workers were ignored by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

SAFE CEO Debra Ashton says she’s angry such an appalling example of animal abuse received such a lenient punishment.

"This man repeatedly beat the animals under his care and has walked away with one of the lightest sentences that we’ve seen in a while. It’s a shocking outcome."

The evidence gathered by Farmwatch, which promoted the MPI to prosecute, was deemed inadmissible by the judge.

"If MPI had done their job properly, it wouldn’t be left to volunteers to gather evidence of animal abuse," says Ashton. "Unless MPI is stripped of their animal welfare responsibilities, animals will continue to be abused and fall through the cracks of the system."

Ashton wants the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor to support the establishment of a Crown entity with the sole responsibility of ensuring New Zealand’s animal welfare laws are adhered to.

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