Northland farmer who beat cows loses his job

A Northland sharemilker who was caught on camera bashing his cows with a steel pipe has lost his job.

In a statement, the farm's owners said they were shocked and saddened by the treatment they saw in the video recorded by monitoring group farm watch.

They said the farmer responsible for the abuse has been dismissed from his duties, and they are cooperating fully with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) investigators.

Hidden cameras caught the sharemilker hitting his dairy herd with a steel pipe in their legs and head.

Video taken by Farmwatch shows him smashing cows in their legs for being "difficult", leaving their legs horribly deformed.

It's not the first time he's been accused of animal cruelty with Newsroom reporting the sharemilker was previously the subject of an MPI complaint.

A farm workers who witnessed the abuse told Newsroom that after the beatings cows "would be limping out of the cowshed".

When Newsroom journalist Melanie Reid confronted the man he told her that he hit cows to "train" them.

DairyNZ's strategy leader Dr Jenny Jago said the footage is "disturbing" and stressed that the majority of farmers care deeply about their animals.

"This type of appalling behaviour is absolutely not representative of the thousands of farmers that work with cows every day and are passionate about animal welfare," she said.

"Cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the dairy sector as part of dairy farming. If a farmer treats their cows badly, they shouldn't be working in the dairy sector. It's as simple as that."

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