WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Sept. 25 (UPI) — A near-bankrupt Canadian cattle farmer in Manitoba was fined $12,900 for allowing 12 of his cows to slowly die of starvation in 2007.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provincial agriculture officials responded to a complaint in the spring of 2007 of two cow carcasses on the farm owned by Donald Cicholski, 62, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.
Once on the property, investigators found 12 dead cows. Necropsies suggested the emaciated animals had died from starvation, the report said.
Cicholski pleaded guilty to several charges Thursday and said his worsening health and shrinking finances were the cause.
Apart from the fine he must pay within five years, he was also banned from owning any animals for five years, which defense lawyer Peter Edgett told the judge was a massive blow.
“He sees this as finishing him off,” Edgett said. “He just can’t see rebuilding at the age of 67.”
Cicholski’s common-law wife who left him recently also faces charges, but hasn’t yet made a court appearance, the report said.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International