$6000 fine for transporting 55 sick, severely lame goats
A stock trader who transported chronically ill goats - including one with a fly-struck ingrown horn - has been fined $6000.
Taumarunui stock trader David Renouf Hutchings, 55, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to three charges.
The charges related to Hutchings transporting 55 severely lame goats to a processing plant over three separate occasions.
One of the animals struggled to get up and used its knees rather than its hooves, a release from the Ministry for Primary Industries said.
Another had an ingrown horn which was fly struck, and was severely lame.
Hutchings' offending was picked up by a Ministry for Primary Industries veterinarian on three occasions in January and February 2017, the statement said.
On the first occasion, 24 of the 167 goats transported were drafted out because of severe lameness.
One goat had severe muscle wasting on a back leg, the statement said, and others were head-bobbing, had cross legs, or were refusing to walk or limping.
"Those goats were priority slaughtered."
The next time, 30 goats were drafted out for lameness and other welfare issues.
"One goat was emergency slaughtered after it showed signs of chronic sickness including depression, poor body condition, nasal discharge and difficulty in getting up. The tendons and joint capsules in its knees were exposed due to the fact the goat used its knees rather than its feet."
On the third occasion, one of the goats being transported was severely lame and had an ingrown horn which was fly struck where it penetrated the skin.
A post-mortem examination also revealed an open chest wound.
The goats in question suffered a great deal of pain as a result of the transporting, Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Brendon Mikkelsen said.
"Their injuries and level of illness were severe. Some underwent emergency and priority slaughter as a result. Offending like this will not be tolerated," he said in the statement.
"Negligence aside, the Animal Welfare Act states that animals must not be transported unless they are fit enough to withstand the entire journey without suffering unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.
"They also must not be transported if they display any injuries, signs of diseases or physical abnormalities that could compromise their welfare during the journey unless a veterinary declaration of fitness for transport has been completed."
Hutchings was fined $6000 under the Animal Welfare Act and ordered to pay court costs of $390.