Goat owner fined $50,000 over field of rotting carcasses

CONFRONTING footage of a goat kid barely clinging to life as it cowered among the rotting carcasses of its flock has been played to Toowoomba Magistrates Court during an animal neglect case.

Department of Forestry and Fisheries inspectors found between 100 and 150 feral goat carcasses in varying states of decay after searching paddocks around the Abedoar Abattoir at Oakey in February last year.

The goats' owner, Lindsay William Taylor, 61, yesterday pleaded guilty to four counts of breach of duty of care to an animal as a director and four counts of feeding animal matter or animal contaminated matter to stock.

Barrister for the department Alastair McDougall said a passer-by had complained to the RSPCA on February 2 last year after noticing a large number of goats in poor condition in paddocks at the abattoir's Oakey Kelvinhaugh Rd property.

Mr McDougall said department inspectors executed a search warrant on the property a week later, finding live and dead goats that appeared to not have any food and water troughs covered in algae, some of which contained the remains of other animals.

Included among the goats was a kid, which was suffering from bronchial pneumonia and had to be euthanized.

There were 153 goats alive at the time of the inspection and 28 head of cattle.

The animals, as well as sheep, were not segregated into different paddocks.

Mr McDougall said the animals had access to industrial bins, some of which contained animal remains, as well as a dam used for treating effluent from the abattoir.

The court heard Taylor was the director of Taya Country Meats, which had engaged the abattoir for the slaughter of the stock.

Defence lawyer Scott Lynch said his client was not an owner and not a manager at the facility.

He said his client had brought the feral goats to the abattoir at the request of its administrators, SV Partners, after its owners had filed for bankruptcy.

Taylor's responsibility as the primary carer for the animals was contended, with Mr Lynch saying a greater level of liability could be placed on the facility's manager.

Magistrate Bruce Schemioneck fined Taylor $53,000 and did not record a conviction against him.

Mr Schemioneck praised the passer-by who initially raised the alarm as well as the RSPCA.


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