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All News Updates & Public Comment => Live Export News Updates => : WA Export News August 06, 2013, 04:49:11 PM

: Walter Matthew Braitling: NT Pastoralist found guilty of animal cruelty
: WA Export News August 06, 2013, 04:49:11 PM
Pastoralist found guilty of animal cruelty.

 A Central Australian pastoralist has been found guilty of an animal cruelty charge, but has had no conviction recorded.

It's the first time a charge has been brought for cruelty to cattle under the Northern Territory Animal Welfare Act.

Walter Matthew Braitling, the manager of Mount Doreen Station, 400 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, appeared in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court today.


Mr Braitling pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to exercise reasonable care, control or supervision of a steer with a deformed head, and preventing it from being trucked.

Seven other cruelty charges were dismissed.

The court heard the steer's left horn was growing into its eye socket, causing it to have difficulty eating and breathing, a condition more commonly known as 'lumpy jaw'.

Mr Braitling failed to detect the deformity before trucking the animal to the Bohning Yards in Alice Springs. It was dead on arrival.

While an autopsy was performed on the animal, Magistrate Daynor Trigg told the court it wasn't clear what had caused the animal's death.

The steer was one of nearly 3,000 cattle mustered in the days before the incident, which took place in July 2012.

The court heard there had been little rainfall in the area since 2010, and a fire had burnt significant amounts of the remaining feed, forcing Mr Braitling to quickly reduce stock numbers on the property.

About 2,500 cattle went on agistment to nearby stations and 383 were trucked to Alice Springs en route to southern abattoirs.

The defence said Mr Braitling was standing on the right side of the race as the cattle were loaded and was unable to see the deformity on the left side of the steer's head.

Magistrate Trigg said no conviction was warranted as Mr Braitling was not reckless or cruel in his actions, and is already facing punishment of publicity and legal costs

     ( ( Photo: Yards at Mount Doreen Station, about 400 kilometres north west of Alice Springs. (   

ABC Rural (  By  Caddie Brain  6.8.2013 (