A Ballarat district farmer who failed to provide sufficient feed, veterinary treatment and husbandry to his cattle has been sentenced to a three month-suspended jail sentence and convicted of six animal cruelty charges.
The accused pleaded guilty to two charges of cruelty and four charges of aggravated cruelty to cattle under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) 1986 and has been sentenced, with conviction, to a three-month suspended jail sentence.
Agriculture Victoria Authorised Officer Marnie Dortmans said the accused was sentenced in the Ballarat Magistrates Court in December following numerous visits to his properties at Springbank over about 12 months.
“During property visits, dead cattle without any evidence of euthanasia were seen and numerous stock required immediate euthanasia to alleviate pain and suffering,” Ms Dortmans said.
“Agriculture Victoria officers sought to alleviate animal suffering by providing the owner with advice on the appropriate care of his animals but this was not carried out.”
The court was told that post mortem samples collected showed evidence of severe emaciation and heavy intestinal worm burdens in the animals.
Ms Dortmans said the case serves as a reminder that it is an offence for livestock owners to fail to provide for the welfare of livestock. All reasonable attempts must be made to ensure suffering and weak animals are euthanised, and proper and sufficient feed is supplied to livestock.
As well as the suspended sentence and conviction, the farmer was ordered to pay service costs and was given a conditional disqualification order for a period of 12 months under s12(1)(b) of the POCTAA.