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Home detention for bobby calf abuser

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/07/2016

A casual meat worker who claimed his employer told him to use blunt force trauma against 115 bobby calves that he abused will serve home detention.

Noel Piraka Erickson, 38, was caught on camera slamming a calf into a concrete floor, and hitting another with a blunt axe after stringing it up on a hook while it was still alive.

He pleaded guilty to 10 charges of animal cruelty last month and was on Thursday sentenced to 10 months home detention and 200 hours community work.

Erickson, who was employed at Down Cow Ltd in Te Kauwhata, Waikato when the offending occurred in August last year, was also banned from owning animals for three years.

The sentencing comes just days before new Ministry of Primary Industries guidelines for killing calves are implemented.

It will be illegal to kill calves with blunt force trauma, unless in an emergency, from August 1.

Other rules include calves must be at least four days old, physically fit and not transported for more than 12 hours or across the Cook Strait by sea.

"Most farmers care for their animals and good operators will not notice much difference," Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.

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