Hidden cameras capture farmer's sickening cow abuse

A covert operation has captured a Northland farmer violently beating cows in a milking shed.

The hidden cameras caught the sharemilker hitting his dairy herd with a steel pipe in their legs and head, Newsroom reports.

And it's not the first time he's been accused of animal cruelty. Newsroom says the sharemilker had previously been the subject of a complaint to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Video taken by Farmwatch shows the man smashing cows in their legs with the stick in retaliation for being 'difficult'.

Afterwards their legs were left horribly deformed as a result of the injuries they suffered.

Other people who have worked on the farm say they were appalled by the way the man treated cows.

"He started bashing their legs with a steel pipe. Their legs were absolutely swollen, ridiculously swollen," one told Newsroom.

"Cows would be limping out of the cowshed."

Newsroom journalist Melanie Reid confronted the sharemilker on the farm, who said he hit cows to "train" them.

"You can't let your cows rule you," he said.

"You got to hit them to get the up sometimes."

Previous workers complained to MPI, however Newsroom reports MPI didn't prosecute.

"The outcome was pretty much: 'He was good guy, cows look brilliant, they couldn't see any abuse'," the farm worker told them.

The new footage has been supplied to MPI in the hopes something will be done. Newsroom contacted MPI to see if an investigation was underway. It was told MPI didn't discuss individual cases.

Newshub.