A western Victorian farmer has pleaded guilty in the Hamilton Magistrates Court to animal cruelty and aggravated cruelty to his sheep.
Yulecart farmer Michael Gaussen was fined $4,000, without conviction and ordered to pay service costs of $148.80.
Agriculture Victoria Animal Health and Welfare compliance manager Daniel Bode said apart from the obvious pain and suffering of the animals, animal welfare breaches could jeopardise Victoria's reputation as a humane and responsible producer of food.
"This is a reminder to all livestock producers that animal cruelty will not be tolerated by the Victorian government or the community," Mr Bode said.
"If you are responsible for the care of any animal, you have a duty to provide for that animal including ensuring disease or parasites are treated appropriately."
Early last year Agriculture Victoria authorised officers Victoria attended Mr Gaussen's property at Yulecart, in response to a complaint about the welfare of the accused's sheep.
The officers inspected a flock of approximately 50 mature sheep and found a number of dead stock.
Three live sheep were identified as being severely flystruck to 20-40 per cent of their bodies.
Three sheep, which had recently died, were extensively flystruck at their time of death and it was considered that was the cause.
On arriving home, Mr Gaussen yarded the sheep for further inspection.
Mr Gaussen admitted he was aware of the flystruck sheep for a few weeks but had taken no action to treat them.
Two Notices to Comply were issued requiring Mr Gaussen to treat those sheep with flystrike and to shear and or crutch the entire flock, to help remove the risk to the rest of the sheep.
Mr Gaussen complied with these notices.
Anyone wishing to make a specific complaint in regard to livestock welfare can contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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