Farmer pays price for bulls' pain

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 19/03/2014

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A Hawera lifestyle farmer's failed attempt to castrate his own bulls has left him with a hefty fine to pay.

Alan Victor Mouland, 62, freezing worker, appeared in the Hawera District Court yesterday for sentencing on eight charges of reckless ill treatment of an animal, following the botched attempt in August last year.

According to the summary of facts, Mouland was visited by an animal welfare inspector on August 31, three weeks after his unsuccessful attempt.

The defendant told the inspector he had not used any pain relief for the bulls and had used rubber rings to perform the procedure.

Six of the bulls were yearlings and two were autumn-born weaner bulls.

Mouland told the visiting inspector he had already sought assistance from a vet as he knew his attempts had not worked.

Lawyer David Fordyce, who appeared for the Ministry of Primary Industries, said all of the bulls had inflammation and infection to their scrotal areas which would have caused them a lot of pain and suffering.

As a result of their injuries, the bulls also had to be operated on by two vets.

Mr Fordyce said Mouland was involved in a similar incident about 10 years ago, when he was warned about consequences for further offending.

Mr Fordyce said he considered a fine in the range of $8000 to $10,000 was appropriate for the offending.

He said Mouland's actions were aggravated by the fact he had been involved in a similar incident in the past.

He could have avoided the harm caused to his animals by calling in a vet earlier.

Mouland, who did not have a lawyer, said he rang the vet when he knew he needed help.

Prior to being sentenced, Mouland also handed Judge Paul Whitehead a character reference from his employer.

Judge Whitehead said he considered the offending to be serious but the defendant would get credit for his early guilty plea.

He said he considered the duration of the bulls' suffering and that it could have been avoided as aggravating factors.

Mouland was fined a total of $7200.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of $130 on each charge.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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