Poultry feed processor banned for acts of animal cruelty
30 April 2015
Two directors from poultry feed processor Tip Top Livestock Pty Ltd have been banned from poultry farming for a combined total of 17 years for multiple animal cruelty offences.
Gerry and Chris Apostolatos were sentenced this week in Melbourne Magistrates Court for failing to provide or make arrangements for the supply of proper and sufficient feed to over a million chickens they were responsible for between December 2011 and February 2012.
The brothers both pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty and aggravated cruelty and were sentenced to a combined total of 300 hours of unpaid community work as part of a Community Corrections Order and were disqualified from being in charge of poultry for a combined total of 17 years.
Magistrate Metcalfe stressed that 'financial or business difficulties don't relieve animal related commercial enterprises of the responsibility to provide humane care to animals' and in her view, 'the failure to feed these birds properly caused appalling suffering and death to a large number.
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) Leading Animal Health Officer Lachlan King led the investigation in 2012 in response to allegations that Tip Top Livestock was not providing the poultry farms with sufficient feed.
"During the investigation, officers observed evidence of starvation-related problems in breach of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986," Mr King said.
"Tip Top Livestock had the responsibility to purchase and provide feed for the chicken's at all six farms. However, they failed to provide sufficient food to the growers to feed their chickens."
"These actions resulted in cruelty to 1,092,000 broiler chickens and the subsequent death of some 86,000 broiler chickens."
"Owners and persons in charge of animals have a duty of care to ensure that their animals are not subjected to cruelty and live without experiencing unreasonable pain and suffering."
"Business and financial issues are no excuse for not meeting basic animal welfare obligations and anyone failing to meet the standards set out in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 will face the consequences regardless of what level they are in their business."
"Operators with problems providing sufficient feed and care should always contact their local DEDJTR office or Customer Service Centre on 136 186."
"DEDJTR takes acts of animal cruelty seriously. Our officers will vigorously investigate instances of cruelty and will bring those who fail to care for their animals to account for their actions."
Categorised under: Agriculture,Prosecution