A dairy farmer from Cooma in northern Victoria was convicted of animal cruelty charges in the Shepparton’s Magistrates Court last week, for failing to appropriately care for his cows. The farmer was under a conditional disqualification order for five years from a previous conviction.
The dairy farmer pleaded guilty to one cruelty offence for an entire herd, a number of aggravated cruelty offences and one charge for failing to comply with a Notice under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.
The farmer was convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment for one month and 56 days. He was also fined $10,000 for failing to comply with the notice and a full disqualification order for owning farming animals for 10 years was imposed.
The farmer has appealed the sentence.
In handing down the sentence the Magistrate said it was a strange thing to understand why someone who earns their livelihood from animals would allow such a state. The untold misery of being starved to death is beyond comprehension.
Agriculture Victoria Animal Health and Welfare Compliance Manager Daniel Bode said the farmer had previously received a $50,000 fine and was under a conditional disqualification order for five years for similar offences occurring in 2016.
Mr Bode said throughout the period of offending, these cows continued to suffer and were not provided with appropriate nourishment or treatment, leaving no alternative for Agriculture Victoria officers to take action.
“Apart from the obvious pain and suffering of the animals, animal welfare breaches can jeopardise Victoria’s reputation on international livestock markets, which can affect all farmers,” Mr Bode said.
“This case serves as a powerful reminder that it is an offence for livestock owners to fail to provide for their livestock’s health and welfare.”
If farmers are grappling with management decisions or feed budgeting, assistance can be sought by contacting your local Agriculture Victoria office or our Customer Service Centre on 136 186.