Two men have been charged and one sentenced to 11 months in prison after police discovered video footage of the vicious killing of a kangaroo.
After an unrelated raid on a home near Bunbury, Western Australia, police discovered the footage on a seized computer.
In the video, Craig Jamie House and Vance Geoffrey Jarvis corner the kangaroo in a dam, throw rocks at the animal, and then bash the kangaroo with crowbars before dragging the lifeless body out of the water.
House also ordered his dog to help corner the kangaroo.
Both men pleaded guilty to the ill-treatment of an animal. House – who was found to be the instigator – was given an immediate jail sentence of 11 months, while Jarvis was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
This kind of punishment is almost unheard of in Western Australia, and RSPCA WA CEO David van Ooran said it was the first known jail sentence imposed in the region for cruelty to animals.
“This is a very strong penalty and a very appropriate penalty”, he added. “[I]t was clearly a horrific and sickening act against a defenceless animal …. It’s excellent to see that the magistrate in this case has awarded a prison term.”
House claimed he killed the kangaroo in order to eat the animal. As his gun licence was confiscated two years earlier, he used the crowbar instead.
“I tried to put out the ‘roo in the most humanely way I could”, he said.
Magistrate Evan Shackleton dismissed this claim, saying, “For a number of minutes, you were not behaving humanely to that kangaroo”. He added, “In my view, you were having fun tormenting that kangaroo”.
This case comes just weeks after another ground-breaking Australian cruelty case, in which Sydney store Nicholas Seafood Traders received New South Wales’ first-ever conviction for cruelty to crustaceans. As in the previous case, this conviction was also achieved using video evidence: a YouTube video showed that a staff member hacked the tail off a lobster and then put the animal through a band saw while still alive.
A precedent has been set. We must continue to push for cruelty-to-animals laws to be more regularly and meaningfully enforced.
History shows that past incidents involving animal abuse appear regularly in the records of serial killers and rapists. We must protect animals and humans by pushing for harsher penalties and introducing early intervention plans. We must also make humane education a priority in our schools.Read: 10 Animal Abusers Who Practically 'Got Away With It' in 2016