The Conservation Regulator in Victoria is currently conducting an investigation into distressing reports of birds observed with metal bands on their legs and chains around their necks in the area of Hoppers Crossing.
If found guilty of aggravated animal cruelty causing death, an individual could potentially face severe penalties including up to two years of imprisonment or a fine exceeding $90,000.
The gravity of the situation is evident as these birds appear visibly sad and distressed, with their legs held up in an unnatural manner.
Mr. Bernhardt, who initially noticed the banding on magpies that frequented his property in February, expressed concern about the well-being of these birds to ABC News.
After receiving no response to his inquiries over several weeks, he took it upon himself to capture the banded birds using a net, aiming to remove the homemade tags. Upon closer inspection, it became apparent that the tags did not meet the standards of a legitimate research body engaged in tagging and numbering birds for scientific purposes.
Their homemade nature raised further suspicions. The investigation by the Conservation Regulator aims to shed light on this alarming situation and hold accountable those responsible for the mistreatment of these birds in Hoppers Crossing.