A Disappointing Result

The court heard that Mr Wallace, owner of ‘Wallace Bucking Bulls’, failed to ensure appropriate handling for a bull he owned and supplied for a rodeo event held at Great Western Hotel in Rockhampton on 7 March this year.

The bull snapped his leg soon after being released from the chute with the rider on his back. The leg could be seen dangling in sickening video which was taken by members of Animals Liberation Qld and supplied to RSPCA Qld. The court heard that Mr Wallace told shocked witnesses at the rodeo that a vet was on the way, but instead of calling out a vet, Mr Wallace loaded the bull onto his truck and transported it with the broken leg to a location about 15 minutes away, where the bull was euthanased.

Mr Jordan Ahlstrand, barrister prosecuting for RSPCA, submitted to the Court that a fine in the order of $5,000 would be appropriate, given that Mr Wallace was using the bull for commercial purposes and so should be held to a higher standard of duty of care. The court was told that Mr Wallace administered anti-inflammatory pain relief, which is required to be prescribed and administered only by vets, and that in any event the medication was ineffective to treat pain caused by a broken leg. Mr Ahlstrand said the bull would have endured significant pain during loading and transport.

Magistrate Cameron Press noted the delay by Mr Wallace in treating the bull, telling him it was his business to supply these animals and he failed to make contact with a vet. However the Magistrate made it clear that the Great Western Hotel venue should share in the responsibility for ensuring vet care is available for rodeo animals at these events, seeing as they are the ones making money out of the animals.

However, Magistrate Press fined the man less than half what prosecutors believed was fair. 

‘This is a disappointing outcome, “ said RSPCA Qld’s Chief Inspector Daniel Young “ If people want to run a business making money out of animals, then they should be prepared to wear the costs of caring for those animals, including the costs of providing timely veterinary care. Sadly that bull endured significant pain and suffering for the sake of people’s entertainment. We would like to see penalties that reflect the community’s expectations in these kinds of cases.’