Farmer disqualified from owning livestock for life

Beef Central, 20/07/2021

A Victorian farmer has received a lifetime disqualification order from being the owner or person in charge of any farm animal following a guilty plea in the Ballarat Magistrates Court recently.

A Springbank farmer, Peter Toohey, pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty and a charge of aggravated cruelty leading to the serious disablement of two cows.

The accused owned five cattle confined to yards on his property, which were observed in poor condition and without access to water or adequate food which resulted in dehydration.

The accused also failed to obtain veterinary care for two sick cows.

Mr Toohey had been subject to criminal proceedings previously for very similar offending, at which time he had a conditional Control Order imposed for a period of two years under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

In addition to the lifetime disqualification order, Mr Toohey was fined $25,000 and costs were awarded to the department for the amount of $149.

The Magistrate said as a repeat offender for similar offences in the past and in respect to this offending that a term of imprisonment must be considered.

He further said if Mr Toohey had not pleaded guilty, he would have imposed a term of imprisonment.

The Magistrate stated the sentence must reflect to the accused and the whole community that animals are to be protected in our justice system and those who put animals at risk must face serious consequences.

Agriculture Victoria Compliance Manager, Daniel Bode, said the importance of a lifetime disqualification order is significant and will ensure that animals are protected from further pain and suffering at the hand of the accused.

“It sends a very clear message that those who continually commit offences against animals should not have the privilege and opportunity to care for them in the future,” Mr Bode said.

Mr Bode added that apart from the obvious pain and suffering of the animals, animal welfare breaches can jeopardise Victoria’s reputation as a humane and responsible producer of food, which can in turn affect all producers.

“This is a reminder to all livestock producers that animal cruelty will not be tolerated by the Victorian Government or the community.”

Anyone wishing to make a specific complaint in regard to livestock welfare can contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or


Your email address will not be published.

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. Sharon, 24/07/2021

    And nobody was checking on this fella for the 2 years of probation time. Sounds like many people/officials are at fault and maybe even more so than this fella. It is obvious he has issues with caring for his stock but the humane officials let him freely do his activities without ever going to see how he was getting along. The cows could have been helped if the humane officials ever did their job.

  2. Ian McKenzie, 20/07/2021

    Imprisonment might have been a better lesson.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -