Shock And Disbelief As Man Who Allegedly Ripped Head Off Kookaburra May Not Be Prosecuted
A man who allegedly ripped the head off a kookaburra may not be prosecuted under current WA law.
The Parkerville Tavern, east of Perth, reported on Friday that 'Kevin' the kookaburra had been killed in a "barbaric attack on one of nature’s gifts." The pub did not detail what exactly happened to the bird, who was a regular guest to the establishment.
However, it has been reported that a middle-aged man grabbed Kevin and pulled his head off after it flew down and landed on his plate while dining on Friday.
But in a cruel twist, the alleged may not be prosecuted under current laws.
“Due to the quick nature of this bird's demise, it does not appear to meet the level of suffering required to become an offence under the law,” the RSPCA said in a statement via Facebook on Saturday.
This has understandably shocked the community.
One woman wrote: “Did Kevin not suffer having his head ripped off? Surely having one’s head ripped off violently causes suffering, as an animal, irrespective of whether it is wildlife or a pet. If someone ripped the head off a kitten, puppy or quokka, would you have the same statement and position?”
In response to the woman, RSPCA WA said: “We are as angry about this as everyone else. (The current act prescribes what constitutes suffering or cruelty, so we are bound by that definition currently. We know this doesn’t meet the community’s expectation - it doesn’t meet ours either.)”
On Monday Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said a review of the Animal Welfare Act was underway.
“If the allegations are true, this is a despicable act. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and WA Police are conducting a joint investigation into the incident,” he said.
“The State Government currently has a review of the Animal Welfare Act underway, with an independent panel due to provide advice to the Agriculture Minister next year.
“Cases like this will be examined as part of the review.”
State Agricultural Minister Alannah MacTiernan has called for the law to be changed.
“It is pretty disgusting I think everyone is rightly appalled. We are now checking with the department whether or not this can be characterised as an act of animal cruelty,” she said on Monday.
“I think everyone in this community would say there should be some penalty for behaving in this way. And that’s what we are very determined that we will sort this out.”