Cattle prod cruelty penalty ‘doesn’t fit the crime’

AN RSPCA inspector couldn't hide his disappointment at the sentence handed down yesterday to a woman for feeding live mice to a snake and using a cattle prod on a dog.

Laurie Stageman visited a Frenchville property last February after a complaint from a member of the public in regard to the treatment of a dog and snakes.

Kathleen May Shipley faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday on charges related to feeding live mice to a snake, putting a live cat inside a snake pen and using a cattle prod on her dog.

Shipley was found guilty and sentenced to 110 hours' community service and is prohibited to have animals in her possession until 2017.

Mr Stageman told The Morning Bulletin that the sentence didn't match the crime.

On investigating the property, Mr Stageman said he found that Shipley had been using a cattle prod to stop one of her dogs from barking.

He said that she also owned seven carpet pythons without a permit.

"Most people that have snakes, have permits; and most people follow procedures and feed them dead mice.

"They were alive from my reports," Mr Stageman said.

"And the purpose of a cattle prod is for livestock.

"It gets a bit upsetting that people would do things like that."

Mr Stageman also said the snakes were contained in two unsuitable enclosures, while the woman had three dogs at her house as well.

"The RSPCA and QPS take a zero tolerance to animal cruelty and duty of care," Mr Stageman said.


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