Friday, 04 June 2021 09:48

Tokoroa dairy farmer fined $17,500 for 11 cattle deaths

Written by  Staff Reporters
A Tokoroa farmer has been fined $17,5000 for the deaths of 11 cattle. A Tokoroa farmer has been fined $17,5000 for the deaths of 11 cattle.

A dairy farmer whose neglect of yearling cattle led to 11 deaths has been fined $17,500 and warned that he could be disqualified from farming if he appears on animal welfare charges again.

Rodney Grant Nicol (61) appeared for sentencing in the Tokoroa District Court, having earlier pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Animal Welfare Act.

Nicol owns a 300-cow dairy farm and had 110 yearling cattle at the time he was investigated by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) from 10 August 2020.

“Most farmers do the right thing for all their animals, including ensuring that they have sufficient food and are being treated for common conditions such as parasites. If we find evidence of deliberate cruelty to animals, we will hold the person responsible to account,” says Brendon Mikkelsen, MPI regional manager animal welfare and NAIT compliance.

During the first visit, an MPI animal welfare inspector found seven dead yearlings on his paddocks, which Nicol told the inspector he believed had died from parasites.

Nicol was then instructed to drench all his yearlings for parasites within nine working days.

Further complaints about the treatment of the yearlings were received by MPI.

A subsequent visit by an animal welfare inspector on 22 August 2020 found 32 of the yearlings had not been drenched within the agreed time. Many of the animals were also suffering from chronic undernutrition.

A veterinarian recommended two other yearlings be euthanised to end their suffering – including one that was so weak it was stuck in a fence. A tenth animal was found dead near these yearlings. Nicol said an eleventh yearling that had been drenched and given a vitamin B12 shot died after being caught in a rainstorm.

“The vet also noted that he had not come across young stock in such a state of malnourishment during his career, as they were less than half the weight they should have been. These animals would have suffered greatly from the neglect Mr Nicol showed them,” says Mikkelsen.

During the investigation, Nicol told an MPI animal welfare inspector that he prioritised his milking herd over ensuring the wellbeing of the yearlings was being met.

Nicol has previously appeared before the courts on an animal welfare charge, which he pleaded guilty to, involving failure to ensure reasonable treatment of a dairy cow with a broken leg.

More like this

Fine for teat amputations

A South Auckland dairy farmer has been fined $3,250 for unlawfully amputating the teats of seven cows using rubber rings as a tourniquet.

Outlook good despite Covid

Despite the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, revenue from New Zealand's primary exports in the past season only dropped by 1% and is predicted to quickly pick up and reach a record high of $49.6 billion in the next 12 months.


a2 Milk seals Mataura deal

The a2 Milk Company (a2Mc) has been given the regulatory approval to buy 75% of Mataura Valley Milk, Southland.

Machinery & Products

Giving calves the best

Waikato farmer Ed Grayling milks 430 cows on mostly peat soil that is low on trace elements.

Feed system helping grow top heifers

Feeding livestock can bring with it several challenges including labour shortages, wasted feed, higher prices for smaller quantities, intake monitoring…

Hard hat or hard head

A recently released coroner's report into the death of a South Canterbury farmworker in 2019 raised the question of the…

Made in NZ: Trimax

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, creating productive…

Vendro badged tedders

Masterton based Tulloch Farm Machines has introduced a new series of Krone tedders badged Vendro, to replace the existing KW…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Microbe power

OPINION: Microbes fished from the stomachs of cows can gobble up certain kinds of plastic, including the polythylene terephthalate (PET)…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter