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Dairy Farmer Fined $15K for Breaking 200 Cows’ Tails

New Zealand court bans dairy farmer from milking cows for six months after 211 cows on his property suffered broken tails.


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Warren Arthur McNabb was fined $15,000 by a New Zealand court yesterday for breaking the tails of 211 cows. During an inspection by both the Ministry for Primary Industries and a veterinarian, nearly half of the 446 cows on McNabb’s dairy farm were found to be suffering from broken tails. “It’s been compared, I guess, to having your fingers broken, in terms of level of pain,” the veterinarian said. The court banned McNabb from milking cows for six months, and ordered him to pay all fees associated with the case—including veterinary bills. While McNabb’s actions are considered animal abuse, New Zealand is known for developing a globally used practice called tail-docking in the 1900s, wherein cows’ and calves’ tails are partially removed employing several methods—the most common of which is placing a thick rubber band on the tail to cut off circulation until up to two-thirds of it falls off.

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