A North Canterbury man has been sentenced to 16 months in jail after bashing a lamb to death with a pair of shears.
Christopher John Tredinnick, 51, repeatedly struck the lamb while a shearing contractor at a farm in Oxford.
He was shearing the lamb in February when it began to struggle and his shears broke.
Tredinnick then hit the lamb in the face with the shears' tension knob, fracturing an eye socket.
After putting it in the holding pen and leaving, he came back and beat the lamb again with the shears.
Its skull was fractured in multiple locations and the lamb died from its injuries after suffering "significant pain and distress", the Ministry for Primary Industries says.
Following the lamb's death, Tredinnick put the lamb in his vehicle, telling the farm owner it had suffocated during shearing and he was taking it home to feed to his dog.
"He deliberately caused this lamb to suffer and he tried to hide that fact," says Gray Harrison, MPI's national manager of animal welfare.
"Animals need and deserve to be treated with respect, and Mr Tredinnick fell well short of those expectations."
Tredinnick pleaded guilty to wilful ill treatment of a lamb under the Animal Welfare Act.
He was sentenced to 16 months in jail at the Alexandra District Court today and forbidden to be in charge of any animals for two years.
He was given leave to apply for home detention and has been remanded in custody, MP says.
Harrison describes the attack as "unusual" for a shearer, saying: "The majority are professional and do the right thing.
"However, our message for those who deliberately cause this kind of suffering is clear - we will investigate and place them before the court."