Two West Coast men allegedly responsible for the deaths of 150 cows and 30 calves, that had to be euthanised by veterinarians after their dairy herd was found in various stages of starvation last year, have pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.

Jeremy William Usher and Robert James Usher, formerly Rotomanu, each face one Ministry for Primary Industries charge of failing to ensure that stock had adequate water and food, and six charges of cruelty.

The charges date to September last year. As well as the 180 animals euthanised, a further 160 had to be sent to the meatworks and hundreds of others were taken to neighbouring farms to recover.

The Ushers did not appear in the Greymouth District Court yesterday but were granted a registrar's adjournment for a defended hearing at a date to be set in the new year.