Ministry for Primary Industries v Worrall [2018] NZDC 22126

Published 16 April 2019

Sentencing — Animal Welfare Act 1999 — animal cruelty — come up if called on. The defendant appeared for sentencing on two charges under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 relating to two cattle owned by the defendant. In both instances, the cattle were suffering and the defendant failed to take proper advice given to him. The Judge, with the aid of reports by two experts, acknowledged that the defendant was a lifelong farmer who made a poor decision that caused the two animals to suffer. The suffering was avoidable. Both parties agreed on a similar range of $2500 - $3000 for the starting point of the fine. However, due to the defendant's guilty pleas, good farming record and the cost to the defendant in terms of the steps taken, the Judge determined that the best sentence was one of a 12 month come up if called on. Should the defendant have a clean record for 12 months, the matter would be dropped, but if issues arose the defendant would be re-sentenced. The sentence was to serve as an incentive for adopting best practices in the future. Judgment Date: 17 October 2018.