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In the past few years the number of kangaroo cruelty cases appears to have skyrocketed with an increasing number of cases of kangaroo cruelty now either being heard in court or pending across Victorian courts.

In Melbourne in 2009 a man was found guilty of deliberately shooting two kangaroos with a bow and arrow while videoing himself. The man walked away from the kangaroos leaving them to die from their wounds with bows and arrows wedged into their head and body. The judge had no mercy on this man and he received a 12 months jail sentence for crimes under the Wildlife Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

However since this sentence, few offenders have received appropriate sentencing for these heinous crimes against our wildlife which is causing distress and hopelessness among those who care for animals and our kangaroos.

In Wodonga Victoria last year a 19year old man was found guilty of deliberately running over a female kangaroo and her joey, throwing the joey into the bush, kicking the mother repeatedly and finally tying her up to his car and dragging her around the streets of Wodonga. Australian Society for Kangaroos along with many disturbed and concerned volunteers and members of the public attended the court hearings in an effort to find justice for kangaroos however the offender got off with a 12 month suspended sentence for crimes under the Wildlife Act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.”

“IN Seymour in 2011, three men deliberately caught a joey with their dog and proceeded to torture, kick and bash it to death while filming themselves. The judge in Seymour Magistrates Court let all three off with a good behavior bond and a fine for crimes under the Wildlife Act. None of their crimes under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act were even mentioned.

In Bendigo earlier this year a kangaroo named Josie was run over and then pushed down a set of stairs in a shopping trolley.

In December last year, a Queensland police officer got off with an infringment notice for gunning down more than twenty kangaroos and their joeys in Booral. He had no permit to kill wildlife and he left most of the kangaroos to die from abdominal and body wounds as well as three little joeys who were left to die in their pouch after shooting their mother.

However in September last year, thanks to excellent advice from Lawyer Daniel Beecham, and the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, a landmark decision was made by the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal the lenient sentences received by the three Victorian men who caught a joey with their dog, put the joey into the boot of a car, drove the joey to Lions Park in Seymour, Victoria, and filmed themselves torturing the joey and finally kicking it to death. The video footage of the incident taken by the offenders was later described as 'sickening' and 'violent' by investigators.

Australian Society for Kangaroos Vice President Fiona Corke said "disappointed by these lenient sentences, we contacted Melbourne based lawyer Daniel Beecher of Phoenix Legal Solutions. On our behalf Daniel made a written submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions, requesting that the sentences against the three men be appealed on the basis of public interest, and due to the sentences being manifestly inadequate." Then in the County Court Melbourne, in November 2012, all three men were finally convicted of crimes under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Wildlife Act and given various orders including a suspended jail sentence and community based orders. The judge also gave permission for the sickening footage to be released to the media which was carried out and which led to further condemnation of these men across the nation. Justice had finally been served.

Daniel Beecher said 'the DPP should be commended for responding to the community interest in these cases, and for regenerating hope that the sentences to be received by these men might demonstrate a greater measure of respect for wildlife, and be more reflective of the serious nature of these crimes'.Ms Corke, said 'this was much welcomed news and has the potential to bring greater justice for future kangaroo cruelty cases.'

In another horrific kangaroo cruelty case heard in a Bendigo court this year, (Justice for Josie) two men were found guilty of running down a kangaroo , putting her in a shopping trolley and then pushing her down a flight of stairs, and were again convicted and each sentenced to a 12 months community based orders. So lets hope this is a sign that the courts are becoming more accountable and responding more appropriately to these horrific crimes of cruelty to kangaroos.

You can view the video along with the media reports on this crime at the links below: