Friday, 04 June 2021 09:48

Tokoroa dairy farmer fined $17,500 for 11 cattle deaths

Written by  Staff Reporters
A Tokoroa farmer has been fined $17,5000 for the deaths of 11 cattle. A Tokoroa farmer has been fined $17,5000 for the deaths of 11 cattle.

A dairy farmer whose neglect of yearling cattle led to 11 deaths has been fined $17,500 and warned that he could be disqualified from farming if he appears on animal welfare charges again.

Rodney Grant Nicol (61) appeared for sentencing in the Tokoroa District Court, having earlier pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Animal Welfare Act.

Nicol owns a 300-cow dairy farm and had 110 yearling cattle at the time he was investigated by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) from 10 August 2020.

“Most farmers do the right thing for all their animals, including ensuring that they have sufficient food and are being treated for common conditions such as parasites. If we find evidence of deliberate cruelty to animals, we will hold the person responsible to account,” says Brendon Mikkelsen, MPI regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance.

During the first visit, an MPI animal welfare inspector found seven dead yearlings on his paddocks, which Nicol told the inspector he believed had died from parasites.

Nicol was then instructed to drench all his yearlings for parasites within nine working days.

Further complaints about the treatment of the yearlings were received by MPI.

A subsequent visit by an animal welfare inspector on 22 August 2020 found 32 of the yearlings had not been drenched within the agreed time. Many of the animals were also suffering from chronic undernutrition.

A veterinarian recommended two other yearlings be euthanised to end their suffering – including one that was so weak it was stuck in a fence. A tenth animal was found dead near these yearlings. Nicol said an eleventh yearling that had been drenched and given a vitamin B12 shot died after being caught in a rainstorm.

“The vet also noted that he had not come across young stock in such a state of malnourishment during his career, as they were less than half the weight they should have been. These animals would have suffered greatly from the neglect Mr Nicol showed them,” says Mikkelsen.

During the investigation, Nicol told an MPI animal welfare inspector that he prioritised his milking herd over ensuring the wellbeing of the yearlings was being met.

Nicol has previously appeared before the courts on an animal welfare charge, which he pleaded guilty to, involving failure to ensure reasonable treatment of a dairy cow with a broken leg.

More like this

Praise for dairy

The director-general of MPI has praised the dairy industry saying its performance in the past year has been tremendous.

Wellbeing events eye young farmers

A new initiative is being funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to help improve the wellbeing of young people in rural communities.

National

OCD's record milk collection

The country's second largest dairy processor collected just short of 2 billion litres of milk from its suppliers.

Fieldays returns

After a hiatus of two years, National Fieldays opened to a grey foggy day in the Waikato, last Wednesday.

Machinery & Products

Classy new home for CLAAS

Visitors to last week's National Fieldays were able to check out the new home for CLAAS Harvest Centre, Waikato and…

Major deal for AgriQuip

New Plymouth-based AgriQuip has been appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor of the Major Equipment brand, with the aim…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Name it and milk it

OPINION: University researchers in the UK believe that a cow will produce more milk if you give it a name.

No thanks!

OPINION: Auckland yoghurt maker The Collective claims it is the first New Zealand dairy yoghurt brand to offer a plant-based…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter