An Otago farmer has been fined $12,000 and has been banned from owning cattle for five years after failing to provide adequate care for their animals.

Carolyn Ireland was sentenced in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to four charges under the Animal Welfare Act, including reckless ill treatment and ill treatment of animals, following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

When MPI inspectors visited her Omimi farm in September 2021, they found found a lack of pasture supplementary feed and six dead cattle lying on different parts of the farm.

Veterinarians concluded the animals were underweight and would have suffered prolonged pain and suffering before death.

Six pregnant heifers also had to be euthanised as they were too small to deliver a calf without suffering pain and distress.

A month later when all of Ireland’s animals were mustered, four other emaciated cows were humanely euthanised.

MPI animal welfare and NAIT compliance regional manager Murray Pridham said most people in charge of agricultural animals did the right thing – ensuring they received timely veterinarian care and plenty of quality feed.

“Since 2013, MPI has intervened several times at this farm because of animal welfare issues.

“It’s particularly disappointing to find such a poor situation when we’ve invested many hours and resources into trying to get Carolyn Ireland to do the right thing for her animals.”

He said Ireland had been cooperative with an order to de-stock her property of all cattle.

In addition to the animal welfare offences, Ireland was also fined $3000 for failing to register 21 cows into the animal tracing NAIT system.

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