Court eases sentence for assaulting a herd of cows

The court in Olsztyn ruled on Wednesday in the appeal of Piotr M., who is accused of bullying a herd of cows. He reduced the prison sentence to six months by operation of law and sentenced the suspect to a year of imprisonment.

Piotr M., acting as agent for the company W. and its 100% shareholder, was responsible for the livestock breeding on the farm in the municipality of Olsztynek. According to the prosecutor’s office, he allegedly harassed a herd of 240 cows from December 2017 to September 2018 in a way that directly threatened the lives and health of the animals.

The suspect had, among other things, limiting the animals’ current access to water, not giving them proper veterinary care and giving them insufficient food, in addition, they are becoming moldy, dry and infested with weeds. According to the researchers, the manure was inconsistently removed from the barn, leaving the cows in the manure. In addition, chasing cows had to be done with dogs and a car with a horn, which caused unnecessary suffering and stress.

The accusation of abuse of the herd of cows from this farm was also presented to Jarosław Z. He was said to instruct and actively participate in the transport of 110 cows to another farm. At the same time – in the opinion of the prosecutor – the animals were unable to transport due to their extreme health condition due to malnutrition, emaciation and lack of proper health care about them.

In December 2021, the court found both suspects guilty of the alleged act. Piotr M. was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, while Jarosław Z. was sentenced to six months with a conditional suspension of the execution of this sentence with a probationary period of two years.

The court also ruled against Piotr M. the confiscation of 11 dairy cows collected by the mayor of Olsztynek by decision of the mayor of Olsztynek, as well as criminal measures in the form of a 10-year ban on the ownership of breeding stock and a ban on five years on any economic activity related to the use of animals. The court ruled on extras from both accused in the amount of: PLN 100,000 PLN from Piotr M. and 10 thousand. PLN from Jarosław Z. to the Emergency Hope Fund for Life Foundation.

An appeal against that judgment has been lodged by Piotr M. and his defenders, as well as by the assistant public prosecutor, namely the Emergency Hope Fund Foundation.

The court in Olsztyn on Wednesday amended the contested judgment of the court of first instance. He reduced the custodial sentence to six months, but also sentenced the perpetrator to a year of imprisonment combined with the obligation to perform 30 hours a month of unpaid, supervised work for social purposes. The rest of the verdict was upheld.

In the opinion of the court, the findings of the court of first instance were correct, so that there is no doubt that the accused committed the offense charged.

“However, the court ruled that the arrest warrant that the court had imposed on the suspect was too onerous. It pointed out that the suspect was not some sort of monster who deliberately wanted and planned the animals to suffer. Managing a large herd of dairy cattle was overwhelmingly possible. Piotr M. ” – said the spokesman for the SO in Olsztyn, Olgierd Dąbrowski-Żegalski.

According to the court, seeing that things got out of hand, ie the animals were not properly cared for and suffered, the accused could not find a good way out of this situation, and every decision he made worsened the condition of the animals.

“The primary aim of the court, by imposing a mixed sentence on the accused (imprisonment and imprisonment after serving), is to enhance the direct impact of the sentence on the offender, and in the long term the educational impact of such a sentence on the suspect, so that he would never again behave in this way towards animals “- said the spokesman for the SO in Olsztyn.

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