An animal cruelty case recently came before Shepparton Magistrates Court.
In June 2018 horse trainer Pauline Brodie’s property was inspected by officers of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Ten of the horses in her care were found to be in poor condition. Three others required veterinary assistance. The horses were subsequently relocated by Harness Racing Victoria.
Brodie was charged with two breaches of §9 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986. The Act relevantly provides that
A person who …
(f) is … the person in charge of an animal which is confined or otherwise unable to provide for itself and fails to provide the animal with proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter; or …
(i) is … the person in charge of a sick or injured animal and unreasonably fails to provide veterinary or other appropriate attention or treatment for the animal; …
commits an act of cruelty upon that animal and is guilty of an offence and is liable to a penalty of not more than, in the case of a natural person, 250 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or, in the case of a body corporate, 600 penalty units.
The matter was dealt with before Stuthridge M. Ms Wendy Gutteridge appeared for the prosecution. The defendant was represented by Mr Markorius Habib of counsel. It was submitted that the defendant had been going through a difficult relationship breakdown, had struggled financially to care for the horses and had experienced significant humilation as a result of the incident.
The defendant was sentenced to a one year good behaviour bond without conviction and ordered to pay $500.00 to the Court fund.
RSPCA v Brodie (2019), Shepparton News, 2 July 2019 at 5