A raid on a property in Melbourne’s west has uncovered a possible illegal slaughterhouse.
Victoria’s meat watchdog, PrimeSafe, received reports the Rockbank house was being used to illegally slaughter goats and dogs, prompting a raid which included 26 officials from the police, local council, RSPCA and Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
The raid, which began at about 7:30am yesterday, uncovered dozens of goats, chickens, dogs, horses, pigs, emu and reptiles.
Goat carcasses were found hanging on butcher’s hooks, along with saws, blow torches and knives used for butchering.
No dog meat was found on the premises, despite several allegations from neighbours, but tw restricted breed dogs were discovered and removed.
One alleges the man was selling dog meat to about 100 customers for $100-$350, another said there were frequent public notices about dogs ‘free to a good home.’
Another witness said they saw a man leaving the property with a bag of pork, which he admitted to buying from the landowner for a “cheap price.”
Police also seized about $200 000 worth of stolen machinery and cars from the property, as well as ammunition, illegal firearms and cannabis plants.
PrimeSafe inspected carcasses and equipment and seized and destroyed meat from a freezer during the raid, but is yet to confirm the origin of the meat, as investigations are continuing.
Several notices will be issued under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 after the RSPCA found about 30 dogs on the property, which were mostly caged or chained to trees.
An RSPCA spokeswomen said the dogs did not appear to be malnourished, but were in unsuitable housing.
‘‘Dirty cages, with a huge build of faeces and urine, with dirty water or lack of [was witnessed].’’ the spokeswoman said.
The 41-year old man has been issued with notices of declaration of the restricted breed dogs, and a 41-year-old man has been charged and bailed on criminal offences relating to the raid.