A trial for two West Coast men charged with cruelty causing the deaths of 150 cows and 30 calves is set to last about three weeks.
Jeremy William Usher and Robert James Usher, of 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.
A farmhand, David Anthony Ham, faces one charge of cruelty and one of failing to ensure that stock were adequately watered and fed.
All three men have pleaded not guilty.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The case was called in Greymouth District Court yesterday but the judge heard it would be some time before the ministry was ready to proceed with the prosecution as it intended calling 25 witnesses, five of them experts in the field of animal welfare.
It will be a "large scale" prosecution, with the trial expected to take three weeks.
Veterinarians had to euthanise 180 cattle on the Usher farm after their dairy herd was found in various stages of starvation, in September 2012.
A further 160 had to be sent to the meatworks because of their condition, and hundreds of others were taken to neighbouring farms to recover.
As a condition of bail Jeremy Usher had to hand in his passport to the court.
The case will be called again next month to set a date for the hearing.