Melbourne. The Conservation Agency in the Australian state of Victoria has registered 250 animal cruelty charges. Last year, colas were massacred during a clearing operation at a former orchard in the southwest of the state. The animals belong to a protected species in Australia.
According to the authority, 21 colas were killed and dozens injured in Cape Bridgewater in February 2020. 49 animals were euthanized due to their injuries, and more than 200 koalas are said to have been displaced from their habitat during the operation. Friends of the Earth Australia, an environmental group, described the incident as a cola massacre at the time.
126 charges of animal cruelty have now been leveled against the owner of the old plantation and the Forestry and Soil Survey Company. Another construction company was also accused of harassing the colas.
The perpetrators face severe punishments. For companies, the maximum fine for animal cruelty is 109,044 Australian dollars – the equivalent of about 69,000 euros. Individuals face a fine equivalent to 29,000 euros, instead of up to twelve months in prison.
The case is set to go to court in February.
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