South-west farmer guilty of animal cruelty charges
1 February 2017
A south-west Victorian farmer who neglected to care for a bull suffering from malnutrition, pneumonia and intestinal worms has been found guilty of animal cruelty charges and fined $1,200 plus costs.
Agriculture Victoria Animal Health Officer Adrian Murray said the man faced the Colac Magistrates Court on Monday 30 January 2017 and was charged with omitting to do an act with the result that unreasonable pain or suffering is caused to an animal.
An additional charge of aggravated cruelty, namely serious disablement of an animal, was also found proven.
Mr Murray said the charges stemmed from an incident in July 2015 when, after receiving a complaint about a cow that was unable to rise, Agriculture Victoria Animal Health Officers attended the farmer's property and euthanized a recumbent bull on welfare grounds.
Mr Murray said during an interview, the farmer admitted that the cattle hadn't been drenched and that veterinary treatment hadn't been provided.
"The farmer also admitted that no supplementary feed had been provided that year and that he had not attended the property for over a month," he said.
In defence submissions, solicitor Jim Ryan said the 74 year-old man had been farming since 1994 and has since stepped away from managing farms, handing the reins over to his son.
Mr Ryan said his client was struggling to care for animals on their dairy farm that were in poor condition, leading to less attention being paid to animals on the farm where the bull was located.
He noted that, "things - 'got away from him'.
In handing down the penalties, Magistrate Coughlan said that there had not been the supervision that should have been provided, and that things did get out of control. He also described the offending as passive cruelty by omission.
The man was sentenced, without conviction, to pay a fine of $1,200 for offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic) and was also ordered to pay $232 in associated costs.
Categorised under: Prosecution