A dairy worker has been handed what is believed to be New Zealand’s longest-ever prison sentence for animal cruelty, after cows were beaten, had their tails broken and were shot in the kneecaps on a farm he managed.
Michael James Whitelock was sentenced in the Greymouth District Court on Wednesday to four and a half years jail and banned from owning animals for 10 years.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including ill treatment of animals, unlawful possession of firearms and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Good to see a decent sentence.
Whitelock was the dairy manager on a Landcorp farm near Westport from July 2012 until his suspension in September 2013. MPI began investigating that month after a Landcorp manager arranged for a vet to examine the herd.
Of the 1100 animals, 152 cows and 57 heifers had broken tails.
People who torture animals often go on to do bad things to humans.