Farmer ordered to pay $25,000 for animal cruelty
25 September 2015
A Strathbogie farmer has pleaded guilty at the Benalla Magistrates' Court to a number of animal cruelty offences, including the starvation of a herd of cattle.
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) Animal Health Officer Lachlan King said the farmer was found guilty of aggravated cruelty without conviction, and ordered to pay $25,000 to the RSPCA as part of a one year undertaking to be of good behaviour.
In his comments to the Court, his Honour Magistrate O'Callaghan said "as civilised people we have an obligation to the animals we manage" .
"We have a basic duty as a society to feed, water and keep animals safe. If we neglect that duty, then there has got to be consequences," Magistrate O'Callaghan said.
The Magistrate made it clear that financial and personal crises were no excuse for acts of animal cruelty.
Magistrate O'Callaghan said this is a serious case of animal cruelty and while I don't consider the accused to be a cruel person, you don't need to be cruel to harm animals.
In imposing the $25,000 penalty, Magistrate O'Callaghan noted the total maximum penalty which could be imposed for these charges was $254,184.
"If farmers are struggling with management decisions or feed budgeting, we implore them to seek assistance or financial advice," Mr King said.
"There are many resources available, both private and public, to assist farmers.
"DEDJTR officers are available to provide information and advice to farmers across the state, including referral to other agencies for assistance if appropriate."
Mr King said that apart from the obvious pain and suffering of the animals, animal welfare breaches can jeopardise Australia's reputation on international livestock markets, which can affect all farmers.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Prosecution