A cow with an untreated lesion that had visibly rotting flesh was only euthanised once a biosecurity investigator became involved.
Dale Stewart Badcock, 54, pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty when he appeared in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Thursday.
A member of the public complained to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment about the condition of a cow on Badcock's farm on July 12, 2018, leading to a biosecurity inspector visiting the property four days later.
The cow in question had a large lesion on its head, with dead and rotting flesh, the wound was bleeding and the cow regularly licked it, the court heard.
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The cow's condition was rated on a scale from one to five, with one meaning a skeletal body outline and a five dictating it was fat.
The inspector rated the cow .5 to one. It was also noted the cow had a four-month-old calf at foot.
Badcock was told to take the cow into the laneway and euthanise it, but he didn't have the right firearm so the inspector returned.
The inspector removed the head for pathological testing after the animal was dead, noting the lesion had a repulsive odour.
A farmer of 30 years, Badcock knew the cow had the lesion for at least six weeks before the inspection.
During an interview with biosecurity Badcock admitted his inaction caused the cow to unjustifiably suffer.
Badcock told the court he'd suffered with depression since 2014 and he got anxious every time he saw the cow, preventing him from taking action.
Badcock said he consulted with a social worker in 2014, but the service was cut by the government, leaving only one social worker in the area and making it very difficult to continue getting appointments.
The farmer had received a number of animal-related infringement notices since his mental health declined, including three for failing to provide treatment to cows.
During sentencing, Magistrate Sharon Cure said it was incumbent on Badcock to act in these situations.
"It is not the time in history to be facing aggravated animal cruelty charges," she said.
Badcock was convicted and fined $2000.
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