1 July 2024

A 45-year-old Cloverdale man was fined $4000 and banned from owning a goat for two years after trying to castrate his 3.5-month-old goat named Franklin with a cable tie and dehorning him with a saw.

On 21 June, Perth Magistrates Court heard an RSPCA WA inspector attended the offender’s property in January to conduct a welfare check on Franklin after receiving a cruelty report.

She observed Franklin’s scrotum had a black cable tie around it, and his horns appeared to have recently been cut very short.

The offender told the inspector he had placed the cable tie around the goat’s scrotum to castrate him after finding the method online. He said he did not consult a veterinarian. Franklin’s testicles appeared white in colour and were swollen and cold to the touch. There was pus-type discharge around the cable tie and dried blood and fluid down his leg.

The man also told the inspector he had dehorned Franklin by using a saw. He said he made a paste of aspirin and rubbed it on his horns for the pain.

The inspector seized Franklin and transported him to the Animal Care Centre in Malaga where vets immediately noted a strong odour of necrotic tissue. He was suffering severe pain from the castration attempt and subsequent necrosis. He was also suffering from his horns being cut off too short which exposed soft tissue and caused bleeding.

Emergency surgery was performed to remove his testicles to avoid potential septicaemia and it was later confirmed his scrotum and the right side of his face were infected.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said the offender’s decision to castrate and de-horn Franklin at home was completely irresponsible and cruel.

“It is heartbreaking to think of Franklin suffering in immense pain for several days – I cannot understand how the offender thought this was an acceptable way to treat a goat,” she said.

“Thankfully a member of the community made a cruelty report about this situation otherwise the outcome for Franklin could have been a lot more dire.”

The offender was charged under section 19(1) and 19(2)(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. It was found he was cruel to an animal in that he caused Franklin unnecessary harm by trying to sterilise him and dehorn him himself, which was not properly treated by a veterinarian.

The man was also ordered to pay more than $3000 in legal and care costs to RSPCA WA and forfeit Franklin.

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

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 at rspcawa.org.au