Man illegally gelded horse - again

Last updated 05:00 26/03/2013

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A man who promised last year to stop illegal horse castrations has been convicted and fined after being caught doing it again.

Gisborne farrier John Sheridan, 62, had been performing castrations on the East Coast for about 50 years. He was caught in an investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries last year.

Castration of horses is a major surgical procedure that only a vet can perform legally. If done incorrectly, it can cause severe or fatal repercussions.

Sheridan used chloroform as an anaesthetic, which is illegal.

When investigators met him in May last year, he said he had carried out hundreds of castrations and wondered when he would get caught.

He was advised his actions were illegal. He agreed to stop and handed over his supply of chloroform.

He and three station owners were given formal warnings, advising them that, if they were caught again, they would be prosecuted.

He received the warning on June 12. Two weeks later, on June 25, investigators found a horse that had been castrated within the previous eight days.

The horse's owner told investigators he had paid Sheridan $200 for the procedure.

Sheridan admitted performing the castrations. He said he had turned down about 100 requests since May and that castrations were a good part of his business, generating about $50,000 a year.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of performing a surgical procedure in contravention of the Animal Welfare Act and of knowingly using chloroform in contravention of the act.

He appeared in the Wairoa District Court yesterday and was fined $750 on each charge. He was ordered to pay court costs of $132.89.

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- The Dominion Post

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