Sergio Borg, a farmer who chained and starved several dogs and other animals on his Haz-Żebbuġ farm, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after being found guilty of animal abuse.
The shocking case ended up in the hands of Magistrate Rachel Montebello, who is the daughter of the Commissioner of Animal Welfare Dennis Montebello, following the confiscation of the animals from the farm back in January.
Footage published by One News of the farm shows the dogs starved, living in their own faeces, tied up to chains and forlorn.
During the court proceedings, it was revealed that the animals were left unattended for three months without their basic needs being attended to.
It was also revealed that a hedgehog, bird and two roosters were discovered dead, some locked in cages with no food and water.
The court considered this to be an extreme case of animal abuse and noted that Borg, who is a repeat offender, showed no sense of remorse for the “extreme and unnecessary suffering” that the animals had endured.
“The Court is also of the opinion that the sentence imposed should reflect the essence of the cruelty shown by the accused and committed by him towards the animals,” it read.
Borg was found guilty of all charges brought against him, as well as of recidivism, and was sentenced to 15 months of effective imprisonment.
While this marks a win for animal rights, the court failed to impose any sanction on Borg owning animals in the future, something which Lydia Abela advocated for, depending on the severity of the case.
Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech exercised this power in a case back in February, where she imposed a 15-year ban on owning, and applying for a licence, for a dog against a Bizbizija animal abuser.
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