A 60-year-old man was last week fined $27,000 for recklessly ill-treating sheep and told by a judge he had "shut his eyes" while innocent animals were slowly dying around him.
Ross David Kingdon, 60, of Gore, appeared before Judge Kevin Phillips for sentence in Invercargill District Court for two charges of recklessly ill-treating animals between November 14 and 22 on his Waimea Plains, Gore, property.
He was fined $13,500 on each charge and ordered to pay for the costs of the investigation.
An order was made prohibiting him from owning or exercising authority of sheep for four years and he was ordered to have his property completely cleared of stock by December 31.
Judge Phillips said the facts of the offending were appalling and if Kingdon was not 60 years old he would have been sent to prison.
Kingdon's land was visited by an inspector after a complaint was made.
The inspector found 58 sheep carcasses in two paddocks.
One of the live sheep on the property had been on the ground for more than a week. It was starved, dehydrated and stressed, Judge Phillips said.
Another sheep was caught in hot wire and had been entangled for a number of days. It had also suffered stress and pain and had to be euthanised.
Kingdon had said he had had a tractor accident and arranged for someone to watch the farm and attend to the sheep but refused to name the person, Judge Phillips said.
Kingdon had said he was aware sheep were cast and had died through poor management.
"You knew what condition they were in and you did nothing about it. You shut your eyes. That is appalling, disgraceful behaviour."
Defence lawyer John Fraser said Kingdon accepted he would not own sheep anymore and had arranged to sell what was left of his herd.
- The Southland Times