Koroit couple fined $4,000 for animal cruelty
1 June 2015
A couple has received a $4,000 fine after pleading guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates' Court to animal cruelty charges after failing to care properly for sheep and cattle on properties at Koroit.
The court heard officers from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) found a number of dead sheep in a muddy, drying dam and empty water troughs at the Koroit property. One live sheep was also stuck in the mud and had to be put down.
DEDJTR District Veterinarian Officer Dr John Gibney said the couple were instructed to fence off the dam and provide an alternative source of water to prevent further sheep from drowning after getting mired in the mud.
"A re-inspection of the property four days later revealed that the dam was still not fenced and another sheep was found stuck in the mud," Dr Gibney said.
In early May 2013 officers responded to a complaint of emaciated cattle in Koroit at a separate location and discovered the cattle were owned by the same couple.
The officers found approximately 150 sheep and 40 head of cattle in very poor condition with virtually no available pasture and no evidence of supplementary feeding.
The owners were served with notices to provide proper and sufficient feed and to treat the animals for worms as a post mortem analysis showed the animals suffered from malnutrition and gastrointestinal worms.
In late May, officers responded to a further complaint of emaciated cattle at a third property in Koroit only to discover the cattle being owned by the accused.
Dr Gibney described it as a classic case of malnutrition leading to parasitism.
"It is critical that proper and sufficient feed is available to livestock to ensure animals can meet their own needs, fight off disease and parasites and feed a calf or lamb," Dr Gibney said.
"Either sell surplus stock or purchase supplementary feed. It is simply not good enough to hope it
will rain in time."
In sentencing Magistrate Lesser said he must ensure other farmers do not err in the same manner as the accused.
Reports relating to animal welfare issues should be made to DEDJTR via firstname.lastname@example.org for commercial livestock. For companion animals call the RSPCA on (03) 9224 2222.
Categorised under: Prosecution,Agriculture