A Dungog man appeared in Dungog Local Court last Wednesday to face charges of animal cruelty in relation to a calf.
On 2 August 2013 RSPCA Inspectors responded to a call about numerous cattle being down or dying on a 350 acre property in Underbank.
After inspecting the property, approximately 65 angus cattle were seen to be in poor body condition, and that the pastures were not suitable to provide sufficient feed. A male calf was lying in one of the paddocks and the man was instructed to get veterinary assistance if the calf was not back on his feet within 24 hours.
On 6 August Inspectors returned to the property with a vet and saw that the calf was in basically the same position as they had left it, but it was in much worse condition. No food or water was evident near the calf. The vet humanely euthanised the calf and subsequently reported the calf had an extremely swollen eye and had been in very poor condition.
During a discussion with RSPCA Inspectors on 24 September, the man said he was not the owner of cattle but was responsible for them. He said he had seen the calf on 5 August and thought it was improving. He said he thought RSPCA Inspectors had instructed him to feed it and said he had provided food and water, but could not explain why there was no sign of this. An acquaintance said he had helped the man feed the calf.
The man pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to provide proper and sufficient food (the other charges were withdrawn and dismissed), and was convicted, fined $2000 and ordered to pay $2000 towards professional costs.
All Charges Made Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act