Ill-treating sheep costs man $20k

Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014

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A Southland man who recklessly ill-treated sheep has been fined almost $20,000.

Bevan Scott Tait appeared before Judge Michael Turner for sentence yesterday in the Invercargill District Court after admitting a representative charge of recklessly ill-treating sheep to such an extent they had to be destroyed.

He was fined $19,250.

The offending occurred between January and June last year.

Judge Turner said inspectors observed several carcasses on the well grazed out paddocks on Tait's farm. Mobs of lambs were inspected and were in poor to very poor condition.

Tait was required to obtain a vet and other assistance but by June further reports were received indicating stock had died or were in poor condition because of a lack of feed. All sheep were later scored according to body condition on a scale of 0 to 5. Of the 1312 sheep 95 were required to be euthanised generally because they were found to have a score of less than one, Judge Turner said.

The judge accepted Tait was remorseful and had taken several steps to rectify the situation so it would not happen again.

Tait's lawyer, Bill Dawkins, said it was not just total neglect but he knew he should have done better.

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