A New Zealand farmer has been convicted of mistreating his sheep after 226 of them were euthanized, the BBC reports. The animals were severely malnourished and sick, which necessitated their killing. Bevan Scott Tate will spend nine months under house arrest and will also do a total of 150 hours of community service.
In addition, he will be prohibited from managing or owning farm animals for a period of four years.
The farmer pleaded guilty, although his defense said he suffered from depression and did not receive enough support from others. This is not the first time the New Zealand farmer’s farm has come under the scrutiny of the authorities.
In April 2019, inspectors found several dead sheep on the same farm, and some of the other animals suffered from various infections. Some of the sheep have not been sheared for two years. On a subsequent visit, they found that Tate had not taken action and the condition of the animals had even worsened. As a result, 226 sheep were killed and the rest of the livestock was sold or moved to other farms.
Mr Tate’s lawyer said authorities in the country should have supported the farmer after an initial inspection found he needed help. However, the judge in the case described the act as particularly serious, given the New Zealander’s many years of experience in farming.