A man has admitted hitting pigs about the head, neck, and shoulders with a steel mallet, and driving over a pig's head on his quad bike.
A veterinarian found the blows would have probably killed a human.
Clayton Thomas Dovey, 49, admitted two charges of cruelty and ill treatment of animals at an appearance in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.
He was loading four pigs onto a trailer on a property at West Eyreton. The pigs were to be taken for slaughter in April 2013, and Dovey was being assisted by five people, including two teenagers.
The first pig attempted to get off the trailer and Dovey struck it on the head. The next two pigs were struck about the head, neck, and shoulders but the fourth pig escaped and was rounded up by Dovey.
He hit that pig repeatedly with a mallet, and chased it around the yard until it became dazed, then hit it with a metal bar.
Police say the attack on this pig went on for about 30 minutes with no attempt to load the pig onto the trailer.
Dovey offered the mallet to one of the teenage boys and told him it was his turn, but the boy refused and left the pen suggesting the pig should be killed.
Dovey then drove his quad motorbike towards the pig, positioned the animal's head and drove over it.
The pigs were slaughtered a week later and a veterinarian inspected the bodies. The veterinarian's report said two of the pigs had significant injuries, and there was notable bruising on another pig. It said the blows to the pigs would have resulted in significant pain and distress.
Judge David Saunders remanded Dovey on bail for sentencing on March 7, asked for a pre-sentence report and said Dovey would have to pay reparation for the veterinarian's fees.
- © Fairfax NZ News