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Invercargill farmer sentenced on animal welfare charges

A farmer was today sentenced in the Invercargill District Court on animal cruelty offences. Invercargill farmer, Mr Russell Scobie was convicted of 12 charges under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and has been sentenced to a total of 400 hours of community service and total costs of $7225 dollars.

Earl Culham, Senior Investigator with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Special Investigation Group (SPIG) said the outcome was the culmination of considerable effort from all involved in bringing the case to a conclusion.

“Any situation involving cruelty of animals can take its toll on all those working on the investigation,” he said.

Trial witnesses had described Mr Scobies stock as severely underfed and suffering from chronic malnutrition.

One expert witness commented that Mr Scobies property was extremely overstocked with four times the stocking rate of other properties in the area.

MAF was alerted to the state of the animals by a concerned member of the public. Mr Culham said such calls help guarantee early intervention into suspected cases of animal cruelty.

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