A Gippsland farmer has been found guilty and fined $2500 plus costs over a string of animal cruelty charges.
Barry Sellings failed to appear before the Bairnsdale Magistrates' Court recently, causing the case to be heard ex-parte in the absence of the accused.
The charges related to animal cruelty, including aggravated cruelty, leading to the serious injury of a cow in his care.
Agriculture Victoria compliance manager Daniel Bode said Mr Sellings owned a cow that was left untreated with eye cancer that would have been growing for at least six months.
Mr Bode said the cancer could have caused significant pain and suffering due to the pressure of the tumour against normal tissue.
"In early November 2020, Agriculture Victoria officers attended Mr Sellings property after receiving an animal welfare report about a cow with possible eye cancer," Mr Bode said.
"The officers observed a Hereford cross with a large bloody mass on her left eye."
The officers estimated the mass would have been at least 10 centimetres in diameter.
"After Mr Sellings confirmed he owned the cow, he agreed to arrange for a knackery to pick up the cow on the following day," Mr Bode said.
"The officers then attended the knackery the following day and took samples of the mass, which measured 18cm by 16cm and had become necrotic."
Mr Bode said a bacterial infection was observed in the open wound and the eye was not visible and could not be felt by probing.
A large number of maggots were found buried within the mass and subsequent laboratory analysis of samples taken from the cow confirmed that the growth was cancer.
"This is a reminder to all livestock owners that animal cruelty won't be tolerated by the Victorian Government or our community," Mr Bode said.
Mr Sellings was also ordered to pay $224 in service costs and charged under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.