Dental floss sutures lead to animal cruelty fine

Dental floss sutures lead to animal cruelty fine


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Farmers and agriculture workers have been warned cruelty to farm animals will not be tolerated.

Farmers and agriculture workers have been warned cruelty to farm animals will not be tolerated.

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ATTEMPTS at amateur caesarean sections on birthing ewes has landed a Victorian farm manager in hot water, with a fine for animal cruelty.

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ATTEMPTS at emergency in-paddock caesarean sections on two sheep, where wounds were sutured with dental floss, by a farm manager with no veterinary qualifications have seen the person fined under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

The person publicised their actions by posting about their unqualified veterinarian interventions on social media.

Agriculture Victoria put out a statement this week that the person was found guilty of the charges in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court last month.

The statement said the defendant, who pleaded guilty to four charges, had received a $5000 fine, but it did not say whether a conviction was recorded.

The charges related to two separate attempts at caesarean sections on ewes which saw one ewe dying after the procedure.

It was heard the accused was not a veterinarian and did not administer any anaesthetics or pain killers to the ewes during or after either procedure.

The internal and external wounds were also inappropriately sutured using dental floss.

Opinion from a veterinary expert found that both ewes would have suffered as a result of the defendant's action.

The expert said the ewes should have been either euthanised immediately or the manager should have arranged urgent veterinarian attention.

Officiating magistrate Franz Holzer slammed the actions, describing the procedures as 'inappropriate' and added while the defendant may have been proud of what they did and thought it was ok, it was not.

Magistrate Holzer also said that the penalty should reflect an element of general deterrence, as the accused publicised their acts to friends on social media.

Speaking after the case, Victorian Leading Animal Health Officer Adrian Murray said that people in charge of livestock must not cause unreasonable pain or suffering to their animals and must always provide veterinary or other appropriate attention or treatment for a sick animal.

"This is a reminder to all livestock producers that animal cruelty will not be tolerated by the Victorian government or the community," Mr Murray said.

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