Three members of a Gisborne family have been sentenced for
ill-treating and neglecting their horses and cattle.
Rua, Teresa, and Matthew Brown appeared at Gisborne District
Court today where Judge Elizabeth Aitken sentenced Rua Brown
to three months of community detention and banned him from
owning or exercising control over horses, cattle, sheep or
pigs for 10 years.
Teresa Brown received 250 hours of community work and was
banned from owning or exercising control over horses, cattle,
sheep or pigs for 10 years.
Matthew Brown, who has previous convictions from similar
offending on the same property, was sentenced to five months
of home detention and banned from owning or exercising
control over horses, cattle, sheep or pigs for 15 years.
A 2009 investigation found starving animals on the Browns'
farm and no signs of adequate available feed or proper
management of the animals, said the Ministry for Primary
The family was told to provide adequate feed for the animals
or reduce their stock to a more manageable number but the
instructions were ignored.
Seven of the 22 horses on the farm had to be euthanised
because of their "poor body condition and the distressing
state they were in".
Under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 the ill treatment of
animals carries penalties of up to of six months in prison
and/or a maximum fine of $25,000.