Second animal welfare fine

A deer farmer has been fined more than $20,000 in the second animal welfare conviction on his Taihape farm in two years.

Graham Nicol, 67, of Levin, was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on charges relating to the reckless ill-treatment of 19 hinds and failure to meet the physical health and behavioural needs of 110 hinds.

The offending dates back to June last year, when the Ministry for Primary Industries received an animal welfare complaint about deer on Nicol's Taihape property.

On initial inspection, an MPI animal welfare inspector found five recently deceased hinds and others that struggled to keep up with the herd.

The inspector returned with a search warrant, a veterinarian and a Federated Farmers representative.

He found another 19 hinds in such poor condition they had to be euthanised, and a further 110 which were almost emaciated.

Autopsies on six of the dead animals showed they were emaciated and had no teeth.

Nicol was fined $15,000 and $7500 at his sentencing in late June.

He was also convicted earlier this year of reckless ill-treatment of 18 deer and was fined $9750.

That conviction related to a complaint received by MPI in 2012, when 10 deer were found dead on the same property in Taihape, along with a further eight that had to be euthanised.

Manawatu Standard