Tuesday, 6 October, 2015
When 20 of his 28 calves died, Gareth Wordsworth just assumed they were dying of scours (diarrhoea) – but they were actually dying of starvation.
Wordsworth, 42, was convicted on October 7 in the Whakatane District Court on charges of failing to provide the calves with proper and sufficient food and water, and of failing to protect the calves from and rapidly diagnose any significant injury or disease. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of 12 months imprisonment and/or a $50,000 fine.
He was sentenced to 100 hours of community work, disqualified from owning livestock animals for 2 years, and ordered to pay $1371.09 in reparations and $150 in court costs.
Monday, 27 July, 2015
Justice was served when three of the very worst animal offenders in New Zealand received significant prison sentences last year.
These prosecutions were thanks to a partnership between Royal New Zealand SPCA and Ben Vanderkolk and Associates, which provides SPCA centres with a combination of pro bono and paid assistance. Since this scheme was introduced in 2011, SPCA centres have had 35 successful prosecutions and seen two of the longest prison sentences ever given to animals offenders.
This partnership is critical for SPCA centres with limited time and resources. They now have access to expert legal guidance and advice, help with assessing evidence and assistance with search warrant applications.
But most importantly, this partnership improves the quality of SPCA cases, therefore achieving better sentencing outcomes for animal offenders and ensuring justice for animals.
“The SPCA is the only charity with the power to prosecute animal offenders under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, but we receive less than 1% government funding to do so. Prosecutions can be a lengthy, expensive process, so we are very fortunate to have this assistance from Ben VanderKolk and Associates,” says National Inspectorate Manager Alan Wilson.