Four cows needed their tails amputated and 116 suffered pain and permanent damage after a farm manager deliberately broke their tails. The dislocations, referred to as “broken tails”, were commonly associated with “tail jacking”, when farmers yanked the tails of dairy cows as they were being moved in and out of the milking shed. Mark Donald Richardson finally admitted the animal abuse after pleading not guilty to the crime for more than two years and was sentenced today in the Hamilton District Court. He was the sole day-to-day carer of the animals at the 55-hectare property near Te Awamutu. The painful dislocations to the cows’ tails were only discovered when the 48-year-old sold the cows to the farm owner. Judge Tony Couch regarded the gravity of Richardson’s offending as serious and while the charges carried penalties of up to three years’ jail and a $75,000 fine. Judge Couch reduced the sentence to seven months’ home detention.