Family members sentenced over animal neglect

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Three members of a Gisborne family have been sentenced for ill-treating and neglecting their horses and cattle.

Rua, Teresa, and Matthew Brown appeared at Gisborne District Court today where Judge Elizabeth Aitken sentenced Rua Brown to three months of community detention and banned him from owning or exercising control over horses, cattle, sheep or pigs for 10 years.

Teresa Brown received 250 hours of community work and was banned from owning or exercising control over horses, cattle, sheep or pigs for 10 years.

Matthew Brown, who has previous convictions from similar offending on the same property, was sentenced to five months of home detention and banned from owning or exercising control over horses, cattle, sheep or pigs for 15 years.

A 2009 investigation found starving animals on the Browns' farm and no signs of adequate available feed or proper management of the animals, said the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The family was told to provide adequate feed for the animals or reduce their stock to a more manageable number but the instructions were ignored.

Seven of the 22 horses on the farm had to be euthanised because of their "poor body condition and the distressing state they were in".

Under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 the ill treatment of animals carries penalties of up to of six months in prison and/or a maximum fine of $25,000.

- APNZ

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