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Tallarook farmer faces court over dog shooting

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Mitchell Shire Council is taking 80-year-old Tallarook farmer Denis Leahy to court claiming he unlawfully destroyed two dogs.

The case went to a contest mention in Seymour Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, February 27 and a hearing has been scheduled for July 3 at Shepparton Magistrate’s Court.

Mr Leahy caught the dogs killing two lambs and attacking ewes on his property.

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Council charged Mr Leahy under section 84ZA of the Domestic Animals Act, which states it is an offence to unlawfully seize or destroy a dog or cat.

However, section 30 of the Act also states the owner of any animals or birds kept for farming purposes…may destroy any dog or cat found at large in the place where the animals or birds are confined – in Mr Leahy’s case his livestock.

The Weekly Times reported Mr Leahy was able to stop the attack last September by calling the dogs over, after which he held them overnight to see if anyone would claim them, before shooting them the next morning, with council arguing Mr Leahy did not have the right to shoot the dogs because they were not ‘at large’ when destroyed.

Mitchell Shire chief executive Brett Luxford said council was aware of the recent developments regarding this incident.

“There will be a contest hearing on July, 3 at Shepparton’s Magistrates Court unless the matter is resolved prior to commencement of the hearing,” he said.

“As this matter is currently before the court, council is unable to provide any further comment.”

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  1. Dingoes are blamed and vilified for unproven stock loss by predation, verified by freedom of information data.
    It’s interesting, however sad, to read about alleged stock predation by uncontrolled farm dogs. An interesting case to follow.

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