Northland farmer filmed allegedly hitting cows with steel pipe facing charges

A man caught on camera allegedly abusing cows at a Northland dairy farm is facing charges.

Footage taken by animal advocacy group Farmwatch and released by SAFE shows the man appearing to hit several cows with a steel pipe.

The Ministry for Primary Industry has laid six charges under the Animal Welfare Act.

Farmwatch said they are happy to see the individual now facing charges, but SAFE Head of Campaigns Marianne Macdonald said the system for protecting animals is broken.

"The farmer needs to be held responsible and we’re glad to see that he has been charged under the Animal Welfare Act. However, the party that hasn’t been held responsible is MPI," says Ms Macdonald.

"MPI had received numerous complaints about this farmer prior to SAFE and Farmwatch’s investigation, yet they only made a cursory visit to the farm and took no further action. After MPI’s failings, it was left up to volunteer investigators to expose this cruelty."

"MPI only responded to the abuse after the footage was exposed in the media."

The farm in question was searched on June 28 after footage was supplied to MPI on June 21.

MPI did not respond to requests for comment - a statement on their website confirmed the charges.