A 60-year-old truck driver from Euroa, in north east Victoria, has been given a $9000 fine with conviction and a two year Conditional Order for failing to feed and provide treatment to his cattle.
The farmer pleaded guilty in Benalla Magistrates Court to five charges of aggravated cruelty resulting in death or serious disablement, three charges of failing to provide proper and sufficient food for two separate herds and one individual cow, and one charge of failing to provide veterinary treatment.
Agriculture Victoria Veterinary Officer Lee Manning said Agriculture Victoria officers found a herd of beef cattle in a poor to emaciated body condition during April and May 2015.
“The officers later found a second herd belonging to the same producer, in a similar condition on agistment in August 2015.
“There was no paddock feed available for the cattle,” Dr Manning said.
“A number of cattle were found dead, and a number needed to be humanely euthanased, which was carried out by Agriculture Victoria officers,” she said.
During sentencing earlier this week, Magistrate Jelena Popovic stated how horrified she was to hear the details of the condition of the cattle. She advised she was considering a jail term for these offences, but the guilty plea acted in the farmer’s favour.
The two year Conditional Order means an independent professional will monitor his farming practices.
Dr Manning said farmers have an obligation to provide feed and suitable care for all animals under their control, including those located on agistment.
“This is a reminder that poor seasonal conditions are simply not an excuse to allow cattle to become emaciated and starve to death.
“All farmers have a responsibility to maintain Victoria’s reputation in farming practices and the livestock industry.”
Dr Manning said the case served as a reminder that it is an offence for livestock owners to fail to provide for their welfare.
Source: Agriculture Victoria