A man who stabbed an Emu to death ‘because he wanted to eat it for Christmas lunch’ has been fined almost A$4,000 (US$2,500) for animal cruelty.
An Australian court heard that, two days before Christmas, Patrick James Andrews, 23, crept into the Emu enclosure at Alexandra zoo in south-east Queensland, where he repeatedly stabbed a 30-year-old Emu named Mary, before cutting its legs off. Zoo staff later found the animal dead in its enclosure.
After Andrews pleaded guilty to the animal cruelty charge, magsitrate Graeme Tatnell fined him more than A$1,000 and ordered him to pay an additional A$2,800 in restitution fees to Bundaberg Regional Council.
In a revealing indication of the state of mind that drove him to carry out such a depraved and senseless act, Andrew was also found guilty of six drug and traffic offences. However, you have to ask whether such a relatively small fine will constitute an effective deterrent against apalling incidents like this happening again.
Image Credit – blmurch via flickr on a Creative Commons license
Andrew is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.