Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Tough Fine Hailed In Animal Cruelty Case

Tough Fine Hailed In Animal Cruelty Case

The Royal New Zealand SPCA says it's delighted by the sentence handed down in the Auckland District Court today to a Northland man found guilty of ill-treating horses.

George Albert, a horse trader, has been fined $8,000 for wilfully ill-treating a stallion and a further $5,000 for ill-treating another 12 horses. The two sums combined set a new record for financial penalties for cruelty to horses. Half of this total is to go to the SPCA.

Albert has also been banned from having custody of horses for eighteen months and ordered to pay $556-20 to cover the SPCA's expenses in investigating and dealing with the case.

The sentence follows a jury trial earlier this month in the Kaikohe District Court. The case was the first brought under the 1999 Animal Welfare Act to be tried by a jury and the first jury trial in 42 years on a charge brought by the SPCA under New Zealand animal welfare legislation.

The stallion had been found in an emaciated condition and on the verge of collapse on a property at Mangamuka, south of Kaitaia, where the other horses were also discovered in a neglected condition. "This verdict sends a strong signal that cruelty to animals is simply unacceptable. We believe a good precedent has been set for dealing with future cases of cruelty and neglect," says the Royal New Zealand SPCA's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Blomkamp.

"After a string of soft sentences, the courts are finally beginning to take animal cruelty cases seriously. This historic decision will be welcomed by all who care for the welfare of animals and for our reputation as a humane and responsible country," he says.

The charge of wilfully ill-treating an animal carries a maximum jail term of three years and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

In sentencing Albert, Judge Gittos said that something of a breach of trust occurs whenever someone responsible for animals neglects them.

The judge described the case as not being one of offending in ignorance.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages