Wyperfeld kangaroo shooters convicted
Friday 5 May, 2017
Parks Victoria has successfully prosecuted four men for shooting 23 kangaroos in and around the Wyperfeld National Park during March 2015.
Two of the men, from Belmont in Geelong, pleaded guilty in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court in April 2017 to charges of aggravated cruelty, hunting protected wildlife, and wilfully injuring protected wildlife. The two men were convicted and sentenced to pay fines of $6000 each, plus Departmental costs.
The other two men, from Woomelang and Warracknabeal, pleaded guilty in the Ouyen Magistrates’ Court in August 2016 on charges of hunting protected wildlife and possessing and using a gun in a national park. They were sentenced to an undertaking to be of good behaviour for a period of twelve months, with the condition that they each pay $3,000 to the RSPCA. Their firearms were also forfeited by the Court.
Regional Director Northern Victoria Craig Stubbings said all native animals are protected under the law and the men’s actions were not only illegal, but completely unacceptable.
“Parks are a place for visitors to enjoy the natural environment. Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will prosecute anyone who illegally hunts animals in parks. Illegal hunting harms wildlife and can also put other visitors at risk,” said Mr Stubbings.
“Our rangers and enforcement staff conduct regular patrols and have powers to search vehicles and seize property as evidence. It is an offence under the National Parks Act 1975 to bring a firearm into a park without authority.”
“Penalties for illegal hunting and cruelty to animals include hefty fines and even jail sentences.”
Media enquiriesGareth Rees
0417 067 706
Parks Victoria media centre