Gippsland farmer Jeremy Wealthy charged with animal cruelty after discovering lifeless sheep in pit

Former Southern Gippsland County Councilor Jeremy Wealthy has been charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty after allegedly failing to look after sheep that later died of a fly.

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Mr Wealthy was two hours late for presenting himself on the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Courtroom listening to on Tuesday and left the courtroom after Justice of the Peace Tony Burns rejected his objection to the witness’s testimony.

Legal professional Common Liam McAuliff of the Division of Employment, Precincts and Areas (DJPR) offered 5 testimonies from witnesses alleging that Mr. Wealthy didn’t correctly shear and water the animals.

The courtroom discovered that Mr Wealthy’s mother and father owned a farm in Walkerville, south-west of Gipsland, which stored about 2,500 sheep and 250 head of cattle, in addition to rising garlic and working a winery.

Flycatcher happens when sheep’s eggs, that are interested in the ideas of uncut sheep’s wool, hatch and start to eat the animal’s pores and skin.

DJPR District Veterinary Officer William Hume advised the courtroom that he visited the farm a number of instances from March to June 2020.

Throughout his first go to, Mr. Wealthy was in control of the farm.

Jeremy Wealthy in Morwell in November 2019.(ABC Gippsland: Jarrod Whittaker)

The courtroom was proven a video of the primary lamb discovered by veterinarians, exhausted, dehydrated and approaching hunger.

Dr. Hume euthanized the lamb and handed Mr. Wealthy a discover of execution, ordering him to deal with the sheep affected by the fly on website.

Throughout one other go to, Dr. Hume found a pit full of as much as 50 lifeless sheep in varied decomposing states.

Pit with dead sheep
Officers say they noticed sheep within the pit at varied levels of decomposition.(Comes: DJPR)

“The photograph reveals traces of heavy car tires and sand on sheep carcasses,” Dr. Hume stated in a press release.

Decide Burns described the photograph as “notably disturbing.”

Mr. Wealthy determined not to answer DJPR’s request for an official interview.

The previous supervisor speaks

Former Walkerville farm supervisor Craig Pentecost labored for Mr. Wealthy from Might 2019 till the top of January.

“All the things that was carried out on the farm needed to be handed by Jeremy,” he advised the courtroom.

“Something over $ 100 have to be authorized by Jeremy.”

He stated that in his work he had repeatedly expressed his concern to Mr Wealthy about animal welfare.

“In relation to animal welfare, we tried to do all the things we might,” Mr Pentekos stated.

“Animal welfare is second solely to animal gross sales and income.”

Beach and surrounding shrubs in Victoria.
The courtroom discovered that within the cool coastal area of Walkerville, there are normally no flies.(ABC Information: Katie Lord)

Mr Pentecost advised the courtroom that every one the operations on the farm had led to bodily and psychological well being issues he had by no means skilled earlier than.

“Attempting to get Mr. Wealthy to know what led to my stress ranges and deteriorating well being,” he stated.

“We misplaced a full crop of garlic on New Yr’s Eve due to the hail.

“I had a robust nervousness, a panic assault. I used to be taken to the hospital with a stress of 290 to 190, the paramedic thought that I ought to have had a stroke.

Mr Pentekos advised the courtroom he had been hospitalized the day earlier than he returned to work, however the workload quickly returned.

“[Later in January] I had one other flip, they put me on a psychological well being plan and stated I might not return to work, “he stated.

His spouse, Linda Dean, took over the administration of the farm when her husband was hospitalized.

“I used to be taken away from faculty to assist me do additional work,” she advised the courtroom.

Sheep affected by a fly in the fog
Officers discovered lambs and ewes affected by the fly for 3 months.(Comes: DJPR)

They had been each later launched through the journey to assist Mr. Pentecost scale back his stress.

“We had been sitting there on the campsite, and Craig acquired a textual content message saying come again and clear the home,” she stated.

The courtroom noticed textual content messages from Mr. Wealthy to Mr. Pentecost alleging that the enterprise was lagging behind projected income by $ 244,000 earlier than taking into consideration the lack of the garlic crop.

Mr Wealthy advised the courtroom that the texts had been “fabrications”.

Mr Wealthy left the courtroom till Mr Pentecost’s testimony was over, rejecting the opportunity of cross-examination of the previous farm supervisor.

Warning of contempt

Justice of the Peace Burns repeatedly warned Mr. Wealthy of his conduct within the courtroom.

“That is your solely warning, your conduct is bordering on contempt of courtroom,” he advised Mr Wealthy.

Earlier, Mr. Wealthy was requested to take off his hat when he entered the courtroom, and later changed it with a Jewish honest.

“I’m half a Jew, half the time I put on a yoke,” he advised the courtroom.

When requested by the Justice of the Peace the place he was, Mr. Wealthy stated he was compelled to care for his mother and father.

“I took care of my aged mother and father earlier than I confirmed as much as struggle these nasty accusations,” he stated.

Mr Wealthy determined to depart the courtroom after the witnesses’ objections had been discovered to be inappropriate.

“Put me in jail, see if I am ,” he stated earlier than leaving.

“This isn’t a courtroom I respect,” he stated.

The listening to will proceed on Wednesday.

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