Animal ban imposed on farm manager

A former Canterbury farm manager has been banned from farming with animals for two years for ill-treatment of cows.  

Carl Ryan McNaught, 29, was sentenced to community detention, community work, and ordered to pay reparations for breaking the tails of over 40 cows in his care on a dairy farm in Horarata in 2015.

McNaught also tipped cows onto the ground, kicked, and punched them, and hit one with an iron bar, a Christchurch District Court trial was told in November. McNaught was convicted and remanded for sentencing today.

Defence counsel Gerard Thwaites said the prosecution had given McNaught a real shake-up.

Prosecutor Grant Fletcher, from the Ministry of Primary Industries, said they were seeking a disqualification from working with farm animals, and reparation for the veterinarian costs.

He said McNaught’s pre-sentence report said he was a low risk of re-offending.

Judge David Saunders was sentencing McNaught on charges of ill-treating the cows, and failing to provide treatment to alleviate pain and distress for them.

He said McNaught lost his temper in the milking shed, and veterinary inspections found that between 41 and 47 cows had tails that had been broken while he was in charge.

McNaught had a passion for farming, he said, but a message had to be sent to him and others in the dairy industry that breaking tails was not acceptable.

He sentenced McNaught to five months’ community detention with a curfew from 8pm to 6am, 140 hours’ community work, and reparation of $1000 for veterinary costs.

He also disqualified him from being involved in the management of dairy stock or farm animals for two years, but that did not include owning companion animals.

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