Friday, July 5, 2013

ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES: Kogarah Local Court

Grey headed Flying Fox - Photo: Vivian Jones

A Penshurst local man appeared in Kogarah Local Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated animal cruelty against a grey headed flying fox that was found buried in the backyard of his Penshurst residence. The animal was beaten to death.

On Wednesday 30 January 2013, RSPCA Inspectors were called to a residence in Penshurst to investigate a report of a bat being beaten to death and buried at the premises.

A netted fig tree and several thin wooden planks were observed in the rear yard. RSPCA Inspectors uncovered the body of a dead flying fox in a recently disturbed garden bed at the back of the rear yard. There was a dirt encrusted shovel near the burial site.

The body of the flying fox was seized and taken to Taronga Wildlife Hospital where an autopsy was conducted. The pathologist reported that the combination of lesions within the flying fox’s body was consistent with acute traumatic injury.

The man was interviewed by RSPCA Inspectors on Tuesday 5 February 2013, and admitted to finding the flying fox entangled in netting on a fruit tree. After attempts to free the animal he stated that be believed the animal to be near death and started hitting it with a stick.

The man admitted during the interview that the flying fox was “screeching” while he was hitting it. He stopped hitting the flying fox when it ceased moving and then proceeded to bury its body in the backyard.

Residents that are impacted by flying foxes are encouraged to refer to the Environment and Heritage website for advice and guidelines regarding the netting of garden fruit trees.

Judgement

The Penshurst man pleaded GUILTY and was convicted of an act of aggravated animal cruelty. He was charged with committing an act of aggravated animal cruelty against a grey headed flying fox and fined $800.

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