Stock Handling & Animal Welfare

South Australian shearer pleads guilty to sheep cruelty charges

Sheep Central February 28, 2020

A SOUTH Australian sheep shearer pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty in the Horsham Magistrate’s Court this week.

The 21 year-old shearer from Naracoorte received a 12-month adjourned undertaking and was ordered to make a $1000 donation to the RSPCA after pleading guilty in the court on Monday.

Agriculture Victoria said the shearer faced the court for animal cruelty 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 handpiece and punching sheep in the head.

In handing down the sentence, the magistrate said he took cases of animal cruelty very 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.

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

Agriculture Victoria said the magistrate noted that some time has 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, have obligations for the care and overall welfare of the animal they are handling at any given time.

“It is an animal cruelty offence to beat or abuse an animal and this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.

“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,” Mr Bode said.

Reports of animal cruelty concerning commercial livestock should be made to Animal Health and Welfare staff at your local Agriculture Victoria office or contact 136 186 or [email protected]

Source: Agriculture Victoria.


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  1. Jack Cleary, March 17, 2020

    Brutality in shearing isn’t new, but tolerating it is unacceptable. I would call this decision all talk and no effective action.

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