Helicopter pilot fined for animal cruelty

Beef Central, 30/10/2015


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 or call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.



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  1. Clare McLeod, 26/11/2015

    That pilots behaviour was wrong, ignorant & bloody stupid on every level. There is a definite flaw in the culture of any agricultural or aviation company that allows this practice.

  2. Brad Petersen, 02/11/2015

    What exactly is your point Peter Williams? It seems like you are sympathising with this idiot. This is a case of animal cruelty, under the law. The pilot pleaded guilty to it, and was convicted. If you ask me, I reckon he’s very lucky to get away with just a $1000 fine, with just one count of animal cruelty. Nothing to do with animal libbers, nothing to do with glass cages in far away cities. Courts are part of the world by the way.

  3. Peter Williams, 30/10/2015

    Meanwhile back in the real world life goes on and the animal libbers live in their glass cages in far away cities. What a load of bull.

  4. John Armstrong, 30/10/2015

    as a professional mustering pilot of some forty years experience I have no sympathy for this individual or for anyone stupid enough to be still conducting the practice. I have heard of at least one large outfit in Qld that promotes the use of shotguns, which is despicable. There is the aspect of infringement of CASA rules in unhanding a helicopters controls to use the weapon, a serious offence.

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