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Levin man moved out of his flat and left a puppy to starve

Segment 011 of Council photo Hale 1 1 v2Tuesday, 6 October, 2015

When Brendan Hale moved out of his flat and locked the door he left a puppy alone inside to die.

Hale, 32, unemployed, pleaded guilty in the Levin District Court to a charge of reckless ill-treatment of an animal with the result that the pain or distress caused to the animal was so great it was necessary to destroy it in order to end its suffering. The offense carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and/or a $75,000 fine.

He was sentenced to 175 hours of community work, 3 months community detention, disqualified from owning animals for 5 years (excluding current dog), and ordered to pay a $350 contribution to legal costs.

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Whakatane man who starved 20 calves to death sentenced

Tuesday, 6 October, 2015

When 20 of his 28 calves died, Gareth Wordsworth just assumed they were dying of scours (diarrhoea) – but they were actually dying of starvation.

Wordsworth, 42, was convicted on October 7 in the Whakatane District Court on charges of failing to provide the calves with proper and sufficient food and water, and of failing to protect the calves from and rapidly diagnose any significant injury or disease. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of 12 months imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.

He was sentenced to 100 hours of community work, disqualified from owning livestock animals for 2 years, and ordered to pay $1371.09 in reparations and $150 in court costs.

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Experts team up with SPCA to seek justice for animals

Monday, 27 July, 2015

Justice was served when three of the very worst animal offenders in New Zealand received significant prison sentences last year.

These prosecutions were thanks to a partnership between Royal New Zealand SPCA and Ben Vanderkolk and Associates, which provides SPCA centres with a combination of pro bono and paid assistance. Since this scheme was introduced in 2011, SPCA centres have had 35 successful prosecutions and seen two of the longest prison sentences ever given to animals offenders.

This partnership is critical for SPCA centres with limited time and resources. They now have access to expert legal guidance and advice, help with assessing evidence and assistance with search warrant applications.

But most importantly, this partnership improves the quality of SPCA cases, therefore achieving better sentencing outcomes for animal offenders and ensuring justice for animals.

“The SPCA is the only charity with the power to prosecute animal offenders under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, but we receive less than 1% government funding to do so. Prosecutions can be a lengthy, expensive process, so we are very fortunate to have this assistance from Ben VanderKolk and Associates,” says National Inspectorate Manager Alan Wilson.

SPCA calls for an end to rodeo

Monday, 27 July, 2015

2015 Rodeo RNZSPCA banner

Animal advocacy organisations SAFE, SPCA and Farmwatch have joined forces in a coalition calling for a ban on rodeo, saying it is both unethical and inherently cruel. Concerned Kiwis are urged to show their opposition by signing the petition at to end rodeo cruelty for good.

The coalition announcement comes after the New Zealand Rodeo Cowboys Association held its AGM on the 25 July and announced dates for the 2015/2016 rodeo season.

The animal organisations say that in a rodeo animals are routinely grabbed, chased, wrestled and roped in aggressive displays and that they can sustain painful injuries such as fractures and bruising, as well as suffering severe stress and fear. Horses and bulls are forced to buck, and young calves roped and thrown to the ground. Two bulls died at rodeos during the 2014/2015 season.

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McDonald’s free-range change is plenty to crow about

Monday, 13 July, 2015

SPCA New Zealand congratulates McDonald’s New Zealand, which today announced it will only serve free-range eggs in all its restaurants by the end of next year.

“This is a huge step in the right direction by a company that purchases nearly 13 million eggs every year – that’s a significant percentage of all the eggs produced in New Zealand,” says Ric Odom, CEO of SPCA New Zealand.

“So this commitment from McDonald’s will provide a real boost to free-range egg production in New Zealand and enable more farmers to transition to free-range with the confidence of knowing there is a strong demand for their products. At the end of the day, this is all good news for New Zealand chickens.”

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