School animals brutally murdered
CHICKENS and roosters at Murwillumbah High School were slaughtered in a gruesome act of animal cruelty that could land anyone involved behind bars for five years.
Teachers made the startling discover yesterday morning when all 18 of the school's chicken and roosters were found in their pen with dislocated necks after a break and enter sometime over the weekend.
Murwillumbah police were called to the school shortly after.
“It appears that a person or persons entered the agriculture building where the chicken coop is located some time over the weekend,” Tweed/Byron Police inspector Darren Steel said.
“They dislocated the necks of 18 chickens and roosters before leaving. It appears that nothing was taken from the building.
“Enquiries are continuing.”
A spokesman for New South Wales Department of Education said the livestock were part of an agriculture program run by the school.
“Murwillumbah High is still weighing up its options following this incident,” the spokesman said.
“It's not known how this will affect the school's program.
“We're not sure what the next step is for them at this point.”
According to the school's website, the agriculture department has an extensive farm area with fruit trees, cattle, goats, a weather station and areas for students to grow crops.
The farm has an outdoor classroom, some irrigation, a greenhouse and a number of tractors and farm machinery.
RSPCA NSW chief inspector David O'Shannessy said it was a disturbing act.
“We urge anyone who may have seen anything or anyone acting suspiciously around the school over the weekend to come forward,” Mr O'Shannessy said.
“Depending on the circumstances, an individual involved can be imprisoned for five years under the prevention of cruelty to animals act.”
A RSPCA NSW spokeswoman added the matter had not been reported to them.
“In cases like this people either call the local police or us,” the spokeswoman said.
Anyone with information on the incident should call Murwillumbah police on (02) 6672 9499 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.