Trial underway for National MP Barbara Kuriger's family accused of animal abuse

Barbara Kuriger speaks to media in 2018 after the news broke.
Barbara Kuriger speaks to media in 2018 after the news broke. Photo credit: Newhsub.

The husband and son of National MP Barbara Kuriger are on trial for multiple animal cruelty charges.

Kuriger is the National Party MP for Taranaki-King Country.

Her husband, Louis Stephen Kuriger and her son Tony Michael Kuriger are facing 11 charges each.

The charges are failing to protect animals, failing to prevent suffering and ill-treatment of animals.

The company operated by the duo and in which Kuriger has shares, OxbowDairies, is facing the same charges.  

Kuriger herself does not face any charges.

The group appeared in the Palmerston North District Court on Monday. 

When the news broke in in 2018, Kuriger told Newshub her family would defend against the charges.

"Like any New Zealander, they deserve the right to a fair trial. My family has a long history of caring for animals and hold animal welfare as one of our strongest values."

The Kurigers have won awards for their farming. Kuriger was named the 2012 Dairy Woman of the Year. Her son was Sharemilker of the Year in 2014, a prize Kuriger and her husband both won in 1987.