Avenel farmer fined for animal cruelty

Fined: An Avenel farmer has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges in the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

An Avenel farmer has been fined $40,000 after pleading guilty to 34 charges of animal cruelty.

The Shepparton Magistrates’ Court heard the charges related to a failure to provide supervision and proper and sufficient feed to about 1500 sheep.

The court also imposed a conditional order with monitoring for three years.

Agriculture Victoria officers first attended the property in early June 2019 in response to a complaint.

They found many dead sheep. Most were pregnant or had recently lambed.

Officers attended on five further occasions and issued several notices to comply.

Over this time, 25 sheep had to be humanely euthanised to prevent further pain and suffering and 236 dead sheep were found.

Agriculture Victoria compliance manager Daniel Bode said despite receiving numerous notices to comply, the farmer took insufficient action.

“A significant number of sheep died and experienced pain and suffering,” Mr Bode said.

“Apart from the obvious pain and suffering of the animals, animal welfare breaches can jeopardise Victoria’s reputation as a humane and responsible food producer, affecting all producers.

“This reminds all livestock producers that the Victorian Government and our community will not tolerate animal cruelty.”

Anyone wishing to make a specific complaint regarding livestock welfare can contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or email