Former pet food company owner pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges over mistreatment of bobby calves

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NZN

The former owner of a Waikato based pet food company has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty following the abuse of bobby calves at his business.

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Source: 1 NEWS

Alan Martyn Cleaver, 59, on Monday admitted to four charges at the Huntly District Court laid against him and his company by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Two members of Cleaver's staff working at Down Cow Ltd were caught on camera abusing the animals in August 2015.

One of them, Noel Erickson, served a prison term after pleading guilty to eight charges of abusing bobby calves at the Te Kauwhata slaughter house.

The other worker, Curley Woolley, was convicted of ill treating four animals by dragging them and fined $500 plus court costs last year.

The secret recordings were made by Farm Watch and welfare organisation Save Animals from Exploitation.

Cleaver previously stated his company was unfairly targeted and penalised for procedures, which he claims were common and sometimes necessary among the country's farmers and slaughterhouses.

One of the charges he has now pleaded guilty to under the Animal Welfare Act carries a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.

While another charge he admitted, also laid under the Animal Welfare Act, against his company Down Cow, could result in a $250,000 fine.

Cleaver will be sentenced at the Huntly District Court on June 22.

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