A LAANECOORIE man pleaded guilty earlier this month to three animal cruelty offences after 250 head of his cattle were found in a malnourished state in April and May last year.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries staff visited the property twice over two months in 2013 where they also found two cattle dead.
Calves on the property were described as stunted and poorly grown.
DEPI prosecutor Adam Serratore told the Bendigo Magistrates Court the paddock had little pasture and insufficient supplementary feed.
Mr Serratore said inspectors had previously given the man advice on correct feeding requirements.
In sentencing, Magistrate Bruce Cottrill said in times of drought, owners should be able to get rid of their stock or provide them with adequate supplementary feed.
He said it was confusing that the owner had not heeded the advice of DEPI inspectors.
The 63 year-old owner was sentenced without conviction and fined $5000, with costs of $128.92 award against him.
Following the sentence, DEPI district veterinary officer Rachael Holmes said producers should have contingency plans to deal with unpredictable weather.
"Producers need to make a decision to feed their livestock or reduce numbers," she said.
"It is not acceptable to allow animals to lose so much condition that they become emaciated."
DEPI said it would continue to investigate any detected violations of the animal cruelty prevention act.