Canterbury farmer gets slap on the wrist after more than 600 calves starve to death

Saturday 29 April 2023, 5:40AM

By SAFE For Animals



Animal rights organization SAFE is renewing its calls for a Commissioner for Animals, following the pitiful sentence for a Canterbury farmer whose animals suffered under their watch.

Lisa-Jane Claire Miller was sentenced to seven months of home detention and ordered to pay costs of $3,975 after 610 of their 687 calves had died or were euthanized due to starvation.

SAFE Campaigns Manager Emma Brodie says the penalties are despicable.

"The outcome of this case does not reflect the severity of the animal welfare violations that have occurred on this farm," says Brodie.

"The fact that Miller was ordered to pay such a small reparation to the vet is despicable; it is essentially $6.50 for every life lost.

"It is crucial that there are proportionate consequences for those who mistreat animals"

Between August 2020 and October 2020, Lisa-Jane Miller bought 687 calves to rear at her farm. Towards the end of September, Miller visited a vet clinic following a scour outbreak on her farm. Miller refused to allow the vet to visit the farm to perform a disease investigation.

Miller’s mismanagement of her animals resulted in a complaint to the Ministry for Primary Industries, which investigated in December 2020. MPI found more than 100 dead calves scattered around the farm that had died from starvation, and another 100 calves in extremely poor condition because of a lack of food.

"This case highlights the urgent need for a Commissioner for Animals in Aotearoa, and the appalling state of animal welfare monitoring and enforcement on some farms."

"There are other Government bodies to represent vulnerable members of our community, including children and the environment. It's time that animals were given an independent voice."