A HEATHCOTE man has been fined for aggravated cruelty to an animal after he left his pet pig to starve.
He was given a $3000 fine with conviction and ordered to pay $5400 to the RSPCA.
The female pig, which had a three-week-old litter of piglets, was discovered by RSPCA officers malnourished and dying of starvation. It was euthanased at the Heathcote farm on January 10, 2012.
The pig’s owner, Nathan Lister, 28, said he had been leaving out pellets for the pig to eat but the court ruled he had failed to provide the animal with proper and sufficient food.
Lister argued he had not been aware of the sow’s deteriorating condition and said he was “shocked” to learn that it was starving.
He said he visited the farm twice a week to feed and look after his two pigs, one alpaca and five Shetland ponies.
RSPCA inspector Amy Benham said she had inspected Lister’s property multiple times and had observed unsuitable conditions in the pig pen.
When she arrived to monitor the pig at the property last January she said she thought it was dead.
“At first it appeared to be lifeless, it was so thin I assumed it was dead,” she said.
“I tried to get her up and tried to get her moving but she was dying. The best thing I could do was to put her out of her misery.”
A post-mortem report tendered to the court showed that the two-year-old sow had no food inside its stomach and had no remaining fat reserves.