Cruelty to bobby calves gets a tougher sentence on appeal
A NEW Zealand man originally sentenced to home detention for cruelly mistreated bobby calves will serve jail time.
Noel Erickson, 38, was secretly filmed kicking, hitting and throwing bobby calves while working as a casual slaughterman at pet food business Down Cow in Waikato.
He was sentenced to 10 months of home detention and 200 hours of community work in July.
The sentence was appealed by the Ministry for Primary Industries, which said it was inadequate.
The High Court has just ruled that Erickson must serve two years in jail. He had completed three months of his home detention.
Judge Patricia Courtney said although the original decision took into account Erickson's lack of training and supervision, his culpability was not "markedly” less because of this.
"It was simply a cruel disregard for the animals' welfare,” the judge said.
"It is undeniable that Mr Erickson's offending was callous and brutal and caused suffering to very young and vulnerable animals.”
The abuse was brought to light after Farmwatch secretly filmed Erickson in a hidden camera sting. MPI launched a probe following release of the footage.
MPI compliance operations manager Gary Orr welcomed the decision.