Cattle bled like a 'fountain' after Tauranga man's dehorning

Source: 1News

Warning: Some may find details in this story upsetting

A Tauranga man's attempts to dehorn three cattle saw "fountains of blood" pouring from their horns.

Generic photo of cattle in NZ

Russell Williams, 59, was sentenced and fined at the Tauranga District Court after admitting three charges of dehorning cattle without pain relief, under the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018.

In August 2021, a family member noticed three cattle had "fountains of blood" pouring from their horns, covering a back lawn, driveway, vegetable garden and a shade house. She called a vet as one of the cattle appeared lethargic.

A SPCA inspector visited the next day, finding the blood and a number of cattle with short horns.

Williams told the inspector he'd used a heavy lopper to remove the tips over concerns they were bullying others.

He claimed he'd done it to meet the requirements of both stock transporters and freezing works but admitted he didn't seek advice from a vet or use pain relief.

"It makes me shudder to think of the pain these animals would have endured, as well as the distress the significant bleeding would have caused them," SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen said.

"The manner in which this procedure was carried out, with no pain relief, was cruel and the defendant showed no regard for the animals' welfare."

A vet said the amount of blood meant the horns had been cut below the non-vascular tip, exposing sensitive tissue.

Williams said he not know it was illegal to dehorn cattle without local anaesthetic.