3 May 2022

Two men, aged 28 and 27, who are in Australia on working visas, have been charged with animal cruelty, after video emerged of a cat being brutally beaten with a pole.

RSPCA WA will allege that on 6 March 2022 in Hamel, where the men were working as fruit pickers, the 28-year-old picked up a small black cat and began to attack it with a two-metre pole. He hit the cat repeatedly, while holding it in the air and as it lay on the ground.

The second accused, a 27-year-old man, allegedly recorded the attack on his phone, and can be heard laughing and encouraging his co-accused. The beating was sustained and vicious, and the cat was almost certainly killed.

The video was then sent in a WhatsApp group chat, where it came to the attention of the accused men’s employer, who immediately reported it to police.  Both men are nationals of Tonga and are in Australia on 403 visas which permit them to work on a short-term basis. 

The men were arrested by Waroona Police on Friday 29 April. They appeared in Northbridge Courthouse on Saturday 30 April, and again in Perth Magistrates Court on Monday 2 May. They are yet to enter a plea and have been remanded in custody to appear again in Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 11 May.

The alleged offenders have been charged with two counts of cruelty under sections 19(1) and 19(2)(a) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege they tortured and maliciously beat the cat.

The maximum penalty for an animal cruelty charge is a $50,000 fine and five years in prison.

RSPCA WA thanks Waroona Police for their assistance with this case. 

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.