Truck operator guilty of animal cruelty

Trucking operator hit with a Good Behaviour Bond after pleading guilty to animal cruelty

By Brad Gardner

A NSW trucking operator has been hit with a Good Behaviour Bond after pleading guilty to animal cruelty.

Brett Strong of Holbrook will serve 15-months under the imposed order after it was found he transported a seriously ill cow to an abattoir in Wodonga in March 2008.

The RSPCA says the animal should not have been transported because it was suffering from cancer eye, "an extremely painful and debilitating disease".

A vet at the abattoir notified an RSPCA inspector, who contacted Strong and launched and investigation, culminating in the court case on March 5 this year.

The driver confessed to not inspecting the livestock before loading it onto the truck. He was also forced to pay $73 in court costs under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act.

The livestock owner, Alistair McKoy, was also required to pay $73 in court costs and $95 in investigation costs.

McKoy pleaded guilty to two charges of authorising the transportation of the livestock that unjustifiably inflicted pain and for failing to alleviate pain.

McKoy was also placed on a two-year Good Behaviour Bond.

The Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA), of which Strong is a member, raised concerns about the ruling.

LBCA Chief Executive Andrew Higginson says the current Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals puts the onus on the owner to ensure cattle are ready for transport.

Higginson says it sometimes difficult for drivers to check animals, especially when there is a large number of livestock and the delivery is being carried out at night.

However, a spokesman for the RSPCA says the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act also places an obligation on transport operators.

According to the Act, animals must not be transported "in a manner which unreasonably, unnecessarily or unjustifiably inflicts pain upon the animal".

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