A screenshot of the alleged attack on a native turtle involving three boys at the Weir, filmed and shared on Snapchat.
A screenshot of the alleged attack on a native turtle involving three boys at the Weir, filmed and shared on Snapchat.

Teenagers mutilate native turtle, videos shared via app

A CRUEL attack on a native turtle, allegedly captured and decapitated at the weir last year, has landed three boys under investigation.

But uncovering how the incident is being dealt with, and by whom, has proven a hard case to crack.

While the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries confirmed it received a complaint from an Emerald resident over the December 14 attack, it was unable to provide a clear response.

It is alleged three videos of the attack were filmed and shared on the social media app Snapchat, and depicted one boy holding the turtle by the head, while the second boy decapitated it with a knife. The third recorded it.

"A complaint was received from a person in Emerald on 14 December, 2015, concerning the way a turtle had been killed," the DAF spokesperson confirmed.

A screenshot of the alleged attack on a native turtle  involving three boys at the Weir, filmed and shared via Snaptchat.
A screenshot of the alleged attack on a native turtle involving three boys at the Weir, filmed and shared via Snaptchat.

But when contacted for a response, an EHP spokesperson said the EHP did not have the authority to investigate the attack.

"The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, which includes Biosecurity Queensland, is responsible for animal cruelty matters (under the Animal Cruelty and Protection Act 2001).

"Therefore, EHP only has authority to investigate alleged taking of a native animal without a permit, and in this case, I can confirm there was insufficient evidence to proceed."

Both departments have since bounced inquiries to the other, and it seems DAF has not got the message from EHP.

"While this incident is under investigation by EHP, it is not appropriate for Biosecurity Queensland to comment on this particular case," the DAF spokesperson said.

"Acts of animal cruelty will not be tolerated and significant penalties, including imprisonment, are in place under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 for animal cruelty or a breach of the duty of care to an animal."

CQ News has since made further inquiries with both departments and is awaiting a response.


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