New Zealand
The appellant was convicted of failing to meet his obligations as owner of horses in relation to their physical, health, and behavioral needs under the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Some 43 horses had been discovered on the property of the appellant in poor to average condition. Twelve horses were identified as being below acceptable condition and emaciated. The District Court Judge imposed fines of $5000 and $8000 in respect of the counts and prohibited the appellant from having custody of any horse for a period of 18 months. On appeal, the judge emphasized that this was a serious case of mistreatment of a number of animals over a period of time by a person who was experienced with horses. The mistreatment of animals by the appellant was not an isolated occurrence. This, taken with the lack of remorse shown by the appellant lead the Judge to conclude that it was appropriate to impose a deterrent sentence. The appeal against sentence was accordingly dismissed.