The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Manitoba man jailed for starving cattle in dispute with his brother

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WINNIPEG - A Manitoba farmer has been sentenced to 45 days in jail and a $10,000 fine for animal abuse after 67 were found dead from starvation and another 52 were near death on the family's southern Manitoba homestead in May 2011.

Thomas Jeffrey McLean has also been banned for life from owning animals.

McLean and his brother had been in a court battle over their late mother's estate and prosecutors argued he intentionally starved the cattle in an effort to devalue the overall worth of the estate.

The defence argued McLean lost control of a large chunk of land in the dispute and didn't have nearly enough natural feed for the livestock.

Bill McDonald, CEO of the Winnipeg Humane Society, calls it the worst case of farm animal abuse in Manitoba that he can remember.

McDonald calls the sentence significant, adding he hopes other judges will pay attention to the case.

Judge Mary Kate Harvie overruled a plea bargain that would have seen McLean escape jail time.

(CJOB)

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