Transport operator Gavin O’Sullivan appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates Court recently charged with offences relating to the loading and transport of sheep unfit to travel.
The Court heard that four severely disabled and distressed sheep in the care of O’Sullivans Transport were found in a loading pen at the saleyards on May 3, bound for transport to Stawell.
After being examined by Department of Primary Industries’ officers and found to be unfit for further movement or transport, the sheep were humanely destroyed. Tests later confirmed the sheep all had single leg fractures and significant surrounding tissue damage.
The court also heard that on August 16 last year a DPI officer detected another two severely disabled sheep owned by the defendant in a selling pen at the Bendigo Livestock Exchange.
DPI prosecutor Geoffrey Morsby told the Court that the defendant had admitted to being in charge of animals unfit to travel, causing or being likely to cause the animals further pain and suffering by driving them for the purposes of loading.
He also admitted failing to provide veterinary or other appropriate care or attention to a sick or injured animal.
DPI Principal Animal Health Officer Ben Fahy said the case was another reminder to livestock transporters, owners and managers of their responsibilities to carefully assess livestock health before, during and after transport.
“It is an offence to ignore the appropriate veterinary needs and management requirements of suffering or disabled livestock and such stock must not be consigned for transportation nor their transportation be allowed to continue,” Mr Fahy said.
“Livestock transporters, owners or managers are expected to be vigilant in assessing the health of livestock for fitness for transport and seek advice from their veterinarian or take other prompt and appropriate action for any disabled stock to ensure an end to their suffering”
Mr Fahy also reminded livestock operators, agents and transporters that saleyard superintendents had the power to humanely destroy suffering or disabled livestock at saleyards and that any interference with these procedures was an offence.