A Whakatane farmer who let 20 calves starve to death has been sentenced to 100 hours' community service and banned from owning livestock for two years.
Gareth Wordsworth, 42, was today handed the ban and also ordered to pay $1371 in reparations and $150 in court costs for failing to protect the calves and diagnose them with a significant disease.
SPCA chief Ric Odom said it had been a case of outrageous neglect.
"That anyone could idly stand by and do nothing while 20 animals died unnecessarily simply beggars belief," he said.
The SPCA said Wordsworth claimed he thought the calves were just dying of scours [diarrhoea] and did not seek any veterinary treatment.