Golden Bay farmer who hit cows with a pipe and slammed a gate into one of their heads banned from owning animals for five years

Source: 1News

A Golden Bay farmer who broke the tails of several cows, hit them with a polythene pipe and kicked one of his herd in the stomach has been banned from owning animals for five years.

One of New Zealand's first indoor dairy farms argues it has substantial environmental benefits, but questions around animal welfare persist.

Steven John Wells, 45, was sentenced in the Nelson District Court this week following prosecution action taken by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Wells was earlier convicted on six charges of ill-treating animals after being found guilty at a judge alone trial in March.

The court heard, amongst other evidence, how the Golden Bay farmer would hit his cows with a polythene pipe with excessive force to direct them into the milking shed and how he left dead cows and calf carcasses in paddocks and lanes rather than disposing of them properly.

A number of former employees and co-workers gave evidence about Mr Wells' ill-treatment of his animals and his anger management issues during the trial.

Judge Tony Zohrab told the court that Wells' actions including slamming of a gate into a cow's head, all constituted "extreme violence".

Wells was sentenced to six months community detention, 180 hours community work and disqualified from exercising authority over animals for five years.

He was also ordered to pay costs to MPI.