Truck driver fined for mistreating goats  

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Dec 09, 2022 |

A stock truck driver who transported goats to a meat processing plant has been fined $3,600 for throwing some of the animals from the truck on to a ramp upon delivery.  

56-year-old Wayne Raymond Patterson was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court on two charges under the Animal Welfare Act, following a successful prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries. 

 On 30 May 2021, Patterson collected the feral goats from a property near Ashburton and drove them to a meat processing plant in Wellington, after boarding the ferry in Picton.  

 CCTV footage confirmed witness reports of Patterson unloading the goats.  

MPI Regional Manager of Animal Welfare and NAIT Compliance, Murray Pridham said Patterson “totally disregarded the Codes of Welfare and Transport for 11 of these goats. 

Throwing nine kid goats and two adults down an unloading ramp onto a hard surface during unloading is unacceptable and there is no excuse for this abusive behaviour. 

Some of these animals landed on various parts of their bodies and struggled to get to their feet.” 

Other evidence of abuse included that at one point, Patterson was seen dragging a dying adult goat by its legs upside down which was thrown onto the unloading ramp, landing on top of two of the kid goats. 

It was unable to stand up and lay on its side moving its legs and head.  He was also seen dragging other adult goats which appeared dead, over the top of some of the kid goats, causing one kid goat to be pulled some distance along the ground. 

Pridham said “these animals would have suffered significant distress and pain. Most people in charge of animals do the right thing and treat them with care. We’d expect today’s sentence will send a strong message to all who transport animals – there’s always witnesses, and you’ll be held accountable for your actions.”

Patterson’s excuse for his mishandling of the animals was that it had been a shattering day and it was always going to be carnage. 

“There is simply no excuse for handling the animals this way. When we find evidence of deliberate animal mistreatment or cruelty, we will prosecute”

If you become aware of suspected ill-treatment, cruelty, or neglect, contact MPI’s animal welfare complaints freephone 0800 00 83 33. Alternatively, you can report an animal welfare issue online

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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