Farmer fined over calf's death

00:46, Sep 27 2012

Leaving a calf lying suffering and distressed in a paddock for four days led to a fine for an Ashburton man.

At the Christchurch District Court sitting at Nga Hau e Wha marae, Michael John Hanham, 71, admitted a charge of breaching the Animal Welfare Act.

Prosecutor for SPCA Canterbury Chris Shannon said when the SPCA saw the calf it had been lying in a paddock for four days, was unable to move, did not have access to feed or water, and was immediately euthanised.

He said a veterinary surgeon said the calf would have been in distress and discomfort.

Defence counsel Trudi Aickin said Hanham had worked in farming for 52 years, and was of excellent character.

He had allowed some people to go onto his property to walk their dogs, and they phoned him to tell him the calf appeared ill.


He was not able to visit it for another two days, and when he saw it assessed that it was beyond help, but did not have a gun in the vehicle to shoot it.

She said he had suffered a great deal of distress over the incident and he was crying in the dock at court today.

Judge David Holderness said the charge related to just this one calf and there was no suggestion that he had failed in relation to other animals on the property.

He fined him $600 to be paid to the SPCA, and ordered reparation payments of $50 to the veterinary surgeon, and $200 for the SPCA solicitor's fees.

The Press