News

Naracoorte shearer guilty of animal cruelty

By Country News

A 21-year-old shearer from Naracoorte in South Australia received two charges of animal cruelty in the Horsham Magistrates Court on Monday, February 24.

After pleading guilty, the man was given a 12-month adjourned undertaking, and has been ordered to make a $1000 donation to the RSPCA.

The shearer faced the court for charges relating to beating and abusing sheep in a Victorian shearing shed in December 2017.

The shearer conducted various acts of cruelty on sheep including stomping on sheep’s necks, striking sheep in the head with his shearing hand piece and punching sheep in the head.

The magistrate said he took cases of animal cruelty seriously.

“If you work with animals you have a responsibility, not just to your employer and not just to the production of wool, but to the animal you are working with,” the magistrate said.

“To do your job in a humane way that causes as little trauma to the animal as possible to fulfil your duty.”

The magistrate noted some time had passed since the offence had been committed and the defendant now had more experience and maturity and better understood his role.

Agriculture Victoria animal health and welfare compliance manager Daniel Bode said all persons in charge of livestock, including people shearing sheep, had obligations for the care and overall welfare of the animal they were handling.

“It is an animal cruelty offence to beat or abuse an animal and this kind of behaviour is unacceptable,” Mr Bode said.

“This case is a strong reminder that shearers need to exercise their duty of care to animals they are handling, and the mistreatment of animals will not be tolerated by the Victorian community.”

● Reports of animal cruelty concerning commercial livestock should be made to Animal Health and Welfare staff at your local Agriculture Victoria office, by phoning 136 186 or emailing aw.complaint@agriculture.vic.gov.au