Jail time for Gippsland man guilty of animal cruelty caught on camera

A Wonthaggi man has been sentenced to four months in jail for animal cruelty offences against a sambar deer, a fox, and a guinea pig.

Wednesday, 23 August 2023 at 3:19 am

A Wonthaggi man has been sentenced to four months in jail after pleading guilty to animal cruelty offences he was filmed committing and encouraging against a sambar deer, a fox, and a guinea pig in 2019 and 2020.         

The 33-year-old admitted to inflicting pain, suffering, and terror on the animals and was convicted of three charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court yesterday.         

Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers investigated the man’s actions after uncovering videos of the offending during a separate investigation into native wildlife crimes in 2020.         

Two videos showed the man tormenting a fox cub and causing horrific injuries to a deer fawn by forcefully pulling it around by its ears, kicking it and stabbing it with a hunting knife. Three other videos showed him assisting another man using a guinea pig as live bait to train hunting dogs.         

In a related matter, a male co-offender narrowly escaped jail time due to personal circumstances and was instead convicted and fined $4000 for multiple animal cruelty offences when his case resolved in September 2021 at Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court.         

The Conservation Regulator encourages anyone who suspects or has information about wildlife crime to report it to Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000. Callers can remain anonymous. 

The Conservation Regulator uncovered these acts of cruelty against a deer, fox and guinea pig while conducting a wildlife investigation. Yesterday’s result reflects the serious and unacceptable nature of animal cruelty in all its forms.

Glenn LinehamSenior Investigator

The Conservation Regulator takes all matters of wildlife crime seriously and this court result should serve as a warning to anyone that animal cruelty is comes with consequences. 

We rely on information from the community to help us investigate wildlife crimes and encourage the public to contact Crime Stoppers Victoria on 1800 333 000 and report any illegal or suspicious behaviour.

Kate GavensChief Conservation Regulator