A 65-year-old Cooma dairy farmer found guilty of animal cruelty charges has escaped imprisonment and will instead be fined $50,000 after lodging a successful appeal.
The farmer, who in July pled guilty to a total of nineteen charges, including seventeen charges of aggravated cruelty for failing to feed his cattle, was originally sentenced to three months in jail at the Shepparton Magistrates Court.
Agriculture Victoria District Veterinary Officer Hannah Delahunty gave evidence and said Agriculture Victoria officers found a herd of 90 dairy cattle in an emaciated body condition, with a number of cattle dead or too weak to stand in June 2016.
“The pasture available to the cattle was insufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the herd, which included milking and pregnant cows,” Dr Delahunty said.
“All farmers have a responsibility to maintain Victoria’s reputation in farming practices.”
More in next week's Country News.