Gippsland wildlife cruelty sentence reduced

A Trafalgar man convicted last year over dozens of disturbing wildlife cruelty offences in Gippsland remains in jail but has been resentenced to six-months imprisonment and will then serve a two-year Community Correction Order.

Thursday, 10 February 2022 at 3:38 am

The man’s fine was also reduced to $6,000 after appealing his original Magistrates’ Court sentence at the County Court, sitting at Latrobe Valley yesterday. He is also banned from owning or being in charge of a dog for four years.

The man was convicted in December following a Conservation Regulator investigation which led to him admitting he had used illegal Mastiff-cross dogs to hunt, kill and cause unreasonable pain and/or suffering to dozens of wildlife between 2018-2020. These animals including Common Wombats, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Brush-tailed Possums and Sambar Deer.

He pleaded guilty at the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court to 50 charges of animal cruelty and hunting offences under the Wildlife Act 1975 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, as well as three charges for offences committed contrary to the Forests Act 1958 and Land Conservation (Vehicle Control) Regulations 2013.

In considering the man’s appeal, His Honour Judge Damian Murphy recognised the man’s early plea of guilty, his fulsome admissions during the investigation, limited criminal history and personal circumstances.

His Honour Judge Murphy described the offences against the animals as “gratuitous cruelty” that offended the community.

To report wildlife crime, contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000.

Wildlife cruelty is unacceptable behaviour and despite the changes to this sentence, it should still serve as warning that anyone caught committing these awful crimes will face penalties.

Conservation Regulator investigators continue to investigate and prosecute allegations of wildlife crime and the public is encourage to report suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers.

Glenn LinehamGippsland Senior Forest and Wildlife Officer