A few years ago, one of Australia’s largest snake farms was targeted in a sting operation.
The sting resulted in a number of animals suffering injuries and died, but the farmers were not prosecuted.
But in a rare case, a jury convicted a snake breeder for knowingly putting animals at risk by letting them eat poisonous snakes, the Australian Associated Press reports.
This comes after a number local animal rights groups filed a lawsuit against the farm, alleging that its owner, Jason Hosader, fed the snakes to his animals.
The owners also alleged that the snakes were killed for their meat.
The farm was found to have allowed more than 400 snakes to enter the facility and kill a large number of dogs, horses, and other animals.
Hosader was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
In the meantime, Hosader has also faced animal cruelty charges, and he was sentenced earlier this year to six months in jail and fined $500.
He’s appealing that sentence, and has appealed to the High Court of Australia to stay the sentence.
The AP says that while Hosader will be eligible for parole after his sentence, he’s also considering a petition to have the conviction thrown out.
This is because the Australian government has failed to adequately protect animals in captivity, and the court ruling is critical, according to the AP.