Grazier fined for failing to alleviate ingrown horn harm
A Great Southern grazier has been slapped with a $2200 fine and $128 in court costs after allowing a cow’s horn to grow so much it poked into and blinded one of the animal's eyes.
Marjorie Armstrong was sentenced in Albany Courthouse yesterday, after pleading guilty to one charge of cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2002.
She was convicted of failing to take reasonable steps to alleviate harm.
The conviction related to an incident in October 2016, when one of her cattle was found to have an ingrown left horn during an inspection at an abattoir.
The animal’s condition was reported to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s livestock compliance unit and samples were submitted for pathology examination.
At post mortem, it was found that the ingrown horn had caused an injury to the cow which was 4cm wide and 3cm deep.
The cow’s left eye was swollen and could not be opened, and it is estimated that the horn had been ingrown for a long period of time.
Department principal compliance inspector Charlotte McIntyre said the conviction sent a clear message about animal cruelty.
“Producers are responsible for thoroughly and regularly inspecting their animals and if any welfare issues are identified, they need to be dealt with immediately,” she said.
“The Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Cattle clearly states that any inward growing horns likely to penetrate or contact facial features should be trimmed appropriately.”
Ms McIntyre said horn trimming was a “straightforward procedure” but stock owners with questions should consult a veterinarian for advice.
“In addition, all animals to be transported should be inspected to ensure they are fit to travel,” she said.
“Transporting unwell or injured animals is likely to cause additional, unnecessary harm.”
For more information about the department’s animal welfare responsibilities, visit agric.wa.gov. au/animalwelfare.
To report suspected cruelty to animals, contact the RSPCA on 9209 9300 or 1300 278 3589.