Press Release – SPCA
A Waikato farmer has today been discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to Animal Welfare Act 1999 charges in the Hamilton District Court.SPCA Will Not Tolerate Cruelty
Animals used as bait for training hunting dogs.
A Waikato farmer has today been discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to Animal Welfare Act 1999 charges in the Hamilton District Court.
In a landmark case, 24 year old Logan Dawson pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating a boar, and two charges of ‘baiting’ a boar – charges that have never before been laid in New Zealand. Dawson was ordered to pay $8,357.90 in reparation and a $500 donation to the SPCA.
Dawson encouraged his dogs to attack a number of boars at his property in the Waikato, ostensibly to train them for pig hunting.
SPCA Inspectors were alerted to YouTube footage depicting the activity in May last year, and consequently executed a search warrant which resulted in the four charges being laid.
The videos showed Dawson encouraging his dogs to attack a boar, then standing by and filming the attacks, intervening to stab the boars but not causing their deaths, thus prolonging their pain and suffering as the dogs continued to attack. He then posted some of the videos on YouTube so others could watch.
“These boars were subjected to a protracted and painful death,” said Sue Baudet, Regional Manager of the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA). “The defendant’s actions in failing to quickly and humanely kill the boars once they were attacked by the dogs caused them unnecessary suffering, despite his possession of a firearm.”
“Once a person has in captivity an animal captured in a wild state, that person becomes the ‘person in charge’ of that animal, and subject to the Animal Welfare Act 1999. That places a number of obligations on that person, including the obligation to protect that animal from unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress,” said Baudet.
“Hunting and killing of wild animals is lawful, but there is an obligation on a person who has captured an animal for the purpose of killing it to do so in a manner that does not cause unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress. We are hoping that the review of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 will provide further clarity around this.”
Robyn Kippenberger, National Chief Executive of the RNZSPCA, said, “Whilst Mr Dawson has escaped conviction today, this case sends the message that behaviour of this type towards any animal is unacceptable and illegal, and will not be condoned.”
“We know that the link between cruelty of this nature and violence to humans is very strong. For this young man to stand by watching and filming an animal suffer is particularly disturbing, and suggests an extreme lack of empathy.”