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Latrobe Local News:
Successful prosecution of negligent sheep owners

A successful prosecution has resulted in fines being imposed on two men

By Latrobe City Council - 20th March 2001 - Back to News

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A successful prosecution under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act has resulted in fines being imposed on two men for failing to provide sheep with proper and sufficient food.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges in the Moe Magistrates Court and were fined $2000 with convictions and $700 costs.

Latrobe City Mayor, Councillor Tony Hanning said the penalties were a warning to negligent stock-owners that prosecutions could and would be pursued through the courts.

Councillor Hanning said that a complaint received by Council’s Local Laws officers in June 2000, resulted in a visit by a Local Laws officer to a property in Derhams Lane, Maryvale.

“The complaint indicated that sheep on the property were neglected and starving. When our officer attended the property, he unfortunately found there were already numerous dead sheep, as there was simply not sufficient food,” Cr Hanning explained.

“Local Laws immediately contacted the Bureau of Animal Welfare at the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) Ellenbank, requesting a stock inspector attend the property with Latrobe City representatives to inspect the sheep.

“There were approximately twenty dead sheep on the property and Local Laws officers were unfortunately required to destroy a further twelve sheep in an advanced stage of starvation. An autopsy was conducted on some of the dead animals to establish the cause of death, and as this was found to be starvation, a prosecution against the stock owners was launched by DNRE,” Cr Hanning said.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the charges in the Moe Magistrates Court to being in the possession or custody of sheep that were confined or otherwise unable to provide for themselves, and failing to provide the sheep with proper and sufficient food.

“There are many advantages in living in the country and either owning or leasing rural land. However, when we take animals under our care either as a business or as a hobby, we are responsible for properly providing for the health and welfare of those animals,” Cr Hanning said.

“In this case, callous stock owners have breached their responsibilities towards the sheep in their care, several of which obviously suffered a slow agonising death. Stock-owners such as these deserved to be prosecuted and pay the penalty the law imposes.

“Council will rigorously assist with any further prosecutions of this nature, and respond positively to reports it receives from citizens of cruelty to, or abuse of animals,” Cr Hanning concluded.

Media Enquiries:

Cr. Tony Hanning, Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 373 577

Cr. Brendan Jenkins, Deputy Mayor, Latrobe City
tel. 0417 374 590

Ms. Penny Holloway, Chief Executive Officer,
tel. 5173 1401 or 0417 557 103

Jeremy Bein, Public Relations and Communications Officer,
tel. 5173 1468


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