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Man charged with animal cruelty after malnourished cows removed from Richmond property

By Tahmina Ansari  Posted 6 hours 47 minutes ago

    Malnourished cow on Richmond property height=227 Photo: One of the owner's neighbours claims the cows are not being fed properly at the Richmond property. (ABC News: Tahmina Ansari)     

A man has been charged with animal cruelty after the RSPCA removed malnourished cows from a property on Sydney's western outskirts.

More than 100 cattle are being kept on 18 hectares of land near Richmond.

The RSPCA has removed 20 of the animals after it found they were malnourished and were not receiving sufficient veterinary treatment.

The owner is being pursued by the local council and the RSPCA, but it will be months before the matter comes to court.

He has been charged with a range of offences including aggravated cruelty, failing to provide sufficient food and failing to provide veterinary treatment.

Neighbour Yvonne Darcy said there was not enough feed for the cattle to graze or shade for the animals.

'These cows are suffering on a daily basis and I have to come out every day and see the atrocity that is going on down here," she said.

"These cows are being abused, neglected, starved, the cruelty is just inconceivable.

"I see cows dying regularly, they just lay down on the ground, they have no shade in the middle of summer, those poor things are just out there standing in the heat.

"The water dries up in the lagoon, the only source of water they have is the lagoon and it dries up, those poor cows come and stand in a couple of centimetres of water to try and keep cool.

"I see poor heifers, young heifers trying to get away from the bulls who try to mate with them, I see two or three bulls try to mate with one cow, the situation is just intolerable."

Penrith Council is going through the Land and Environment Court to gain access to the property to forcibly remove the animals.

Council's executive manager Wayne Mitchell said they have been dealing with the matter for at least two years.

"We've been in a legal proceeding for some months now, some months before that we had to bring in independent experts to get assessments of the property, it's been a
protracted process," he said.

Council ordered an independent assessment of the land be carried out, which found that only 10 cattle can fit on the property.

"Some months before that we had to bring in independent experts to get assessment of the property to determine what the handling capacity was," Mr Mitchell said.

"We're very concerned about the impact the cattle are having, the impact on the neighbours, but we're really bound by the legal process.

"We tried to work with the owner initially and get him to remove the cattle, he doesn't have consent for that number of cattle."

But Ms Darcy said she has been lobbying the council since 2006 and has written to a number of local MPs.

She said she could not believe authorities have taken so long to act.

"Unless I keep ringing, unless I keep prodding them, without that it's just going to dead in the water," she said.

"To have bureaucracies whose job it is to monitor situations like this and make sure it's not occurring such as Penrith council, just to go so slowly and have to be pushed and
shoved into addressing a situation is so difficult."