Shearer who killed lamb jailed for 16 months

Judge holding gavel in courtroom

A shearer who killed a lamb, by hitting it on the head, has been jailed for 16 months.

Christopher Tredinnick has also been banned from being in charge of any animal, for two years.

The 51-year-old man was sentenced in the Alexandra District Court yesterday after the incident in Oxford, North Canterbury in February.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says the lamb struggled while being shorn and broke the shearing gear.

Tredinnick used the shears to hit it on the head, and told the farm owners it had suffocated and he was taking it home to feed to his dogs.

MPI animal welfare investigators went to Tredinnick's home and recovered the remains. A post-mortem revealed the lamb had multiple skull fractures, meaning it would have suffered significant pain and distress before it died.

MPI's National Manager of Animal Welfare Gray Harrison said Tredinnick's actions were appalling.

"He deliberately caused this lamb to suffer and he tried to hide that fact. Animals need and deserve to be treated with respect, and Mr Tredinnick fell well short of those expectations," Harrison said in a statement.

"This kind of offending by shearers is unusual. The majority are professional and do the right thing. However, our message for those who deliberately cause this kind of suffering is clear - we will investigate and place them before the court."