A Central Queensland man has pleaded guilty in the Mackay Magistrates Court to one count of animal cruelty and has been fined $1000.
The prosecution under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 comes after an incident was reported to Biosecurity Queensland and a detailed investigation was conducted.
Biosecurity Queensland Statutory Compliance and Investigations Manager Jason Tews said the individual had discharged a shotgun at two Brahman Cross bullocks while heli-mustering on a remote property in Central West Queensland.
“The rubber-shot projectiles fired at the animals inflicted significant injuries down the faces of both animals resulting in both needing to be destroyed,” he said.
“Inappropriate treatment and acts of cruelty towards any animal will not be tolerated regardless of the situation or location.
“Helicopter mustering pilots need to understand and abide by acceptable standards of animal handling.
“This individual has needlessly inflicted significant distress upon these animals and has broken the law.
“The prosecution highlights to the cattle industry that these methods for mustering cattle are not appropriate and will be punished.
“Whilst most livestock producers uphold Queensland’s high standards in animal welfare, there are some individuals who are letting the industry down.”
The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 places a duty of care on people in charge of animals to meet the animals’ needs in an appropriate way. People who breach the Act face serious penalties including large fines and possible jail time.
Anyone who witnesses acts of animal cruelty should report it either to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or to the RSPCA.
Source: Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. For more information on animal welfare and an animal owner’s duty of care, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.