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Shearers charged over Vic animal cruelty

AAP logoAAP 13/12/2016 Melissa Meehan

A South Australian shearer has pleaded guilty to abusing sheep by twisting their limbs while standing and stomping on them in a Victorian shearing shed.

He is one of seven shearers charged following an investigation by Agriculture Victoria inspectors after a series of complaints that sheep were being punched and beaten.

The complaints arose after graphic footage was posted on YouTube by animal welfare organisation PETA documenting the abuse in a Neuarpurr shearing shed in 2013.

Senior vet Rober Suter said the Agriculture department took welfare seriously and the charges, that were laid in August were a reminder that animal cruelty offences would be investigated and prosecuted.

"The court was told that shearing sheep is an inherently difficult and demanding task, however all persons have the responsibility to treat the animals under their control in a humane manner and certainly not a cruel manner," Dr Suter said in a statement on Tuesday.

PETA spokeswoman Ashley Fruno said at least 40 other shearers were being investigated in Victoria.

The Lucindale man pleaded guilty to four counts of cruelty to animals in the Horsham Magistrates Court last week and was banned from shearing, being in charge of farmed animals for two years and ordered to donate $5000 to the RSPCA.

Six others will face court next year.

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