One of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious private schools is being investigated for animal cruelty after the ABC obtained videos of members of the school’s top rugby teams crash-tackling sheep in a farm paddock.
Click view the video. It’s a pretty sickening sight.
The incident took place at a King’s old boy’s sheep farm in Orange. It has been condemned by farming and veterinary groups, but the school headmaster, Dr Tim Hawkes, has defended the incident, saying it was a rugby camp training exercise not dissimilar to shearing.
In one part of the video, one of the team players is seen holding one of the rams against a fence to keep from being involved in the brutality. One can only wonder how his actions will affect his selection chances.
The activity has attracted almost universal condemnation.
- The NSW Farmer’s Association has also condemned the incident as dangerous and “plain stupid”.
- The Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) said it was very disappointed by the footage, which clearly demonstrated inappropriate and irresponsible handling of sheep.
- RSPCA chief executive Steve Coleman told the ABC the footage was horrific and disgraceful.
Steve Coleman also made a rather more thoughtful point that there is a small step from brutality towards animals to brutality towards other human beings. One wonders whether King’s will now use slow fat kids for tackling practice for the 1st XV.