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Magpie killer hit with $2394 penalty after 'callous' backyard spree

Two magpies were so severely injured they had to be destroyed.

A Victorian man has been slapped with a $2394 penalty after inflicting “callous” acts on magpies.

His sentence follows an investigation by Victorian authorities who were tipped off that birds were being shot at a property in the state’s Sunraysia region. After attending the property in 2021, investigators found four dead magpies as well as two that were so seriously injured they had to be euthanised.

The 57-year-old was also placed on a good behaviour bond after fronting the Mildura Magistrates Court. He admitted to 10 offences of wounding and inflicting aggravated cruelty on the native birds.

A backyard with dead magpies.
Four magpies were found dead at the Merbein property. Source: Conservation Regulator

While Victoria allows wildlife to be killed by property owners, they must first apply for a permit before they start shooting. Otherwise they can face charges under the state's Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Authorities say charges should act as a warning

After the sentence was handed down Glen Smith from the state’s Conservation Regulator warned offenders would be prosecuted.

“Magpies are an iconic native bird and they are protected in Victoria. There is no excuse for unlawfully killing or injuring them," he said.

“The Conservation Regulator takes wildlife crime extremely seriously and this court result should act as a warning that we will pursue penalties for offenders.”

In Victoria, anyone with information about wildlife crime is able to report it anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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