A former contract milker who rammed a difficult dairy cow with a quad bike is banned from the diary industry for 12 months.

The cow was full of milk and was pained and distressed by the actions of Christopher Mark Bennett.

The 56-year-old was working on a farm in Raglan, rounding up stock.

He twice rammed the cow, which was being difficult.

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But Bennett's actions were witnessed by people horse-riding on the farm.

The Ministry of Primary Investigations launched a probe and, after Bennett was sentenced in court, its investigations manager Simon Anderson said such abuse was unacceptable.

"There is never an excuse for ill-treatment of animals. [The ministry] takes any reports of abuse very seriously. If we find evidence that warrants charges being laid, we will prosecute," Anderson said.

Bennett was convicted, disqualified from working in the dairy industry for a year and ordered to do 125 hours' community work.