A south-west farm manager failed to administer pain killers to two ewes before conducting C-sections and stitching up their wounds with dental floss.
Nicole Rowe pleaded guilty to four consolidated charges of animal cruelty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court last month.
The court heard Rowe published the offending to friends on social media. One of the ewes died from the procedure, which was conducted at Rowe's property.
Rowe was not a veterinarian and did not administer any anesthetics or pain killers to the ewes during or after either procedure.
The internal and external wounds were inappropriately sutured using dental floss.
Expert veterinary opinion was obtained and concluded that both ewes would have suffered as a result of the actions of the accused, who should have immediately euthanised the ewes or arranged veterinarian attention for them.
Magistrate Franz Holzer said the procedure was inappropriate and that whilst Rowe may have been proud of what she did and thought it was OK, it was not.
He said Rowe publicised her acts to friends on social media, who were oblivious to the cruelty involved and were encouraged to try the same thing themselves.
Rowe was fined $5000 and ordered to pay $381.14 in costs.
Each offence of animal cruelty could have attracted fines of up to $37,917 or 12 months' jail.
Animal Justice party candidate Andy Meddick said the farmer would have been fully aware of the suffering she was causing.
"This is yet another example of an animal cruelty perpetrator walking away with a penalty far from adequate for the crime they committed," he said.
"This intentional act of cruelty should have resulted in a permanent ban from owning animals. With a committee inquiry into Victorian animal protection underway, the current insufficient and often non-existent laws for farm animals will be put under the spotlight.
"I look forward to working with the government to strengthen animal protection legislation and ensure farmers receive the education and resources needed to improve animal welfare."
Agriculture Victoria refused to release the name or location of the accused but her name was not suppressed by the court.
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