A PRODUCER agisting sheep in the Bendigo region has been convicted of animal cruelty charges in the Magistrates' Court.
Agriculture Victoria said the "absentee producer" pleaded guilty to four charges, two of cruelty and two of aggravated cruelty.
He was convicted an placed on an 18-month community corrections order and required to complete 200 hours of community work.
Between May 3 and 9, 2019, authorised Agriculture Victoria officers found 72 sheep at the property were not provided with proper or sufficient feed.
Of these 72 sheep, nine had recently died, eight were seriously disabled and were euthanised.
As a result of the continuing non-compliance, Agriculture Victoria siezed the remaining animals.
In handing down the sentence the Magistrate said if not for the guilty plea, a term of imprisonment would have been imposed.
He referred to the conduct as disgraceful.
Agriculture Victoria Animal Health and Welfare compliance manager Daniel Bode said the farmer failed to comply with notices under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.
Mr Bode said the sheep continued to suffer throughout the period of offending, leaving officers with no alternative but to euthanise several.
He said as well as pain and suffering to animals, animal welfare breaches could jeopardise Victoria's reputation on the international livestock market, affecting all producers.
Mr Bode reminded absentee producers that adequate supervision was a requirement, particularly during high risk times such as summer.
To make a livestock welfare complaint, contact Agriculture Victoria on 13 61 86.
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