A PIPERS River farmer has been fined $3000 after pleading guilty to cruelty to animals.
John Hurst, 79, was sentenced in the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday on five counts of animal cruelty and an associated animal management charge.
The RSPCA decided to prosecute the farmer of 60 years for mistreating five cows, which were found to be undernourished in October 2011.
Magistrate Tim Hill said the cows were "very depressed, lethargic and bellowing continually" when animal welfare officers went to the property.
Officers said Hurst was cooperative but did not appear to consider the matter very serious.
His lawyer Evan Hughes previously told the court it had been a wet season and Hurst had been unable to sow green feed for the beasts.
In order to regenerate his fields Hurst had moved the cows to a new paddock where the pasture was limited.
Mr Hill convicted Hurst and, along with the fine, ordered he pay $975 in costs to the RSPCA.