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Farmer pleads guilty to animal cruelty charges

A SHEEP farmer from Corack near Donald, recently pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the St Arnaud Magistrates Court for failing to appropriately care for his sheep.

The farmer pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to provide sufficient feed, three charges of aggravated cruelty, and a charge for failure to comply with notices under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

The farmer was convicted and fined $5,000 and a Conditional Control Order imposed which would allow an authorised Agriculture Victoria inspector to monitor compliance with the Act.

Agriculture Victoria Compliance Manager Daniel Bode said the farmer had received a warning letter from Agriculture Victoria with respect to basic husbandry requirements for his sheep only a few months prior to the offending occurring in this matter.

The magistrate accepted the fact the farmer had taken his eye off the ball due to a difficult period, however, the consequences caused cruelty to animals.

The magistrate remarked these are living creatures and they had suffered.

Mr Bode said all farmers have a responsibility to maintain Victoria’s reputation in farming practices and the livestock industry.

“Throughout the period of offending, these sheep continued to suffer and were not provided with appropriate food or treatment, leaving no alternative for Agriculture Victoria officers but to euthanize several sheep that were severely unwell,” Mr Bode said.

“The case serves as a strong reminder that it is an offence for livestock owners to fail to provide for their welfare.”