A stock trader has been fined after transporting chronically ill and severely lame goats to a processing plant.

Taumarunui trader David Renouf Hutchings was fined $6000 under the Animal Welfare Act. The 55-year-old was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court yesterday.

Hutchings pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the transportation of 55 severely lame goats which were also suffering a range of illnesses "including an ingrown horn, poor body condition, and exposed tendons", The Ministry for Primary Industries said.

His offending was picked up by an MPI veterinarian on three occasions in January and February this year.

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The Animal Welfare Act states that animals must not be transported unless they are fit enough to withstand the journey without suffering unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress.

On the first occasion, 24 out of 167 goats transported were drafted out for severe lameness. MPI described them as having signs including "head-bobbing, cross legs, refusing to walk, and limping".

"One goat had severe muscle wasting on a back leg," MPI said.

On the second occasion, 30 goats were drafted out for lameness and other issues.

"One goat was emergency slaughtered after it showed signs of chronic sickness including depression, poor body condition, nasal discharge and difficulty in getting up. The tendons and joint capsules in its knees were exposed due to the fact the goat used its knees rather than its feet," MPI said.

On the third occasion, one of the goats being transported had an ingrown horn and a post-mortem examination revealed an open chest wound.

Ministry for Primary Industries north region manager of animal welfare compliance, Brendon Mikkelsen, said the goats in question suffered a great deal of pain as a result of the transporting.

MPI said some of the goats underwent emergency and priority slaughter as a result.

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"Offending like this will not be tolerated," MPI said.

Hutchings was ordered to pay court costs of $390 in addition to the $6000 fine.