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Australia 'Emu plucker' avoids jail time after guilty plea to animal cruelty in viral social media video

13:35  17 october  2019
13:35  17 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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A Dubbo man is handed a community correction order and community service after pleading guilty to animal cruelty following his appearance in a video of an emu being plucked.

' Emu plucker ' avoids jail time after guilty plea to animal cruelty in viral social media video . A Dubbo man is handed a community correction order and community service after pleading guilty to animal cruelty following his appearance in a video of an emu being plucked.

a man wearing a red hat: Schultz pleaded guilty to the charge of animal cruelty but escaped jail time. (ABC Western Plains: Adriane Reardon)© Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Schultz pleaded guilty to the charge of animal cruelty but escaped jail time. (ABC Western Plains: Adriane Reardon)

A Dubbo man has been sentenced to an 18-month Community Correction Order and 300 hours of community service for animal cruelty following his appearance in a video showing a distressed emu being plucked.

Jye Leslie Schultz was 19-years-old at the time the video went viral on social media, depicting him finding an emu trapped in a fence and then dragging, riding, and plucking it.

Two bystanders — one filming the incident — can be heard laughing in the background as Schultz proceeds to pull handfuls of feathers from the emu.

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' Emu plucker ' avoids jail time after guilty plea to animal cruelty in viral social media video . A Dubbo man is handed a community correction order and community service after pleading guilty to animal cruelty following his appearance in a video of an emu being plucked.

' Emu plucker ' avoids jail time after guilty plea to animal cruelty in viral social media video . A Dubbo man is handed a community correction order and community service after pleading guilty to animal cruelty following his appearance in a video of an emu being plucked.

The video was widely distributed on social media following its publication in June.

Police later arrested and charged Schultz with recklessly beating an animal to cause prolonged suffering.

The bystanders were not charged.

Media outlets at the time claimed the video was filmed in Walgett, but NSW Police investigations found the incident likely occurred in Quambone, near Warren in north-west NSW.

The now-20-year-old avoided jail time, but is subject to supervision and is to abstain from both alcohol and drugs.

'He's certainly copped it'

The video, which went viral on Snapchat and Facebook, was replayed in the Dubbo Local Court today.

Schultz lost a bid for a non-publication order on his name in July, with the Magistrate at the time ruling it in the public interest to report all details.

He pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. It turned out to be powdered milk.

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Organizations like the American Emu Association provide guidelines for the humane treatment of captive emus ; however, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has expressed concern regarding the treatment of emus , ostriches and other non-domesticated farm

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Schultz entered a plead of guilty to the animal cruelty charge in September.

Appearing before the court today, his lawyer described the event as an "isolated incident" and their client had expressed "genuine remorse" for his actions.

The defence submitted that their client's "youthful stupidity" could somewhat serve as an explanation for his behaviour, but was by no means an excuse.

Magistrate Gary Wilson said the accused "certainly copped it" from the public following the widespread outrage on social media following the incident.

During sentencing, Magistrate Wilson took into account Schultz's plea of guilty and lack of a criminal record.

"The whole thing is extremely disturbing," Magistrate Wilson said.

"There is some hope that this sort of thing won't happen again."

The court heard police confirm the emu died following the incident.

Police STILL haven't charged Aboriginal cop 'who stoned a wombat to death' because the cultural issues are too 'complex' .
Police are seeking legal advice on how to prosecute Waylon Johncock who was filmed stoning a wombat to death at South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, on October 3. The reason to seek independent legal advice comes after 'complexity and issues involved in the case' sources told The Advertiser. The inquiry was launched earlier this month with the final decision determining whether or not Johncock will face any criminal charges relating to animal cruelty. Police declined to comment on the case due to the ongoing investigation.

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