Six cattle on properties just outside Wangaratta were left to suffer in pain when their eye cancer and other ailments were ignored by the farm manager.
Francis Griffiths, 77, has now been placed on a good behaviour bond and claims he knows how to better look after his animals, after pleading guilty to the animal cruelty offences.
Wangaratta Magistrates Court heard this week that a member of the public alerted Agriculture Victoria to the issue in March 2019.
Staff and a veterinarian attended Griffiths' Laceby and Greta West properties to find a total of four bulls and bullocks with eye cancer.
Prosecutor Elana Tozer told the court that eye cancer is caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight and results in ulcers on the eye, plus it can spread to other parts of the body and leaves a smell and discharge which can contaminate feed.
"The eye cancers in these bullocks cause high levels of pain and suffering," she said.
"Generally, animals affected by eye cancer have good prospects with early surgical intervention."
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She said another animal had ingrown horns embedded in its head and its eye sockets and "would have been in continuous pain", plus a calf was found with pink eye.
Griffiths admitted to investigators he had known about the conditions, but none of the cattle had been treated for their conditions and all had to be put down.
"It was the most humane way of dealing with them after they had been through this period of suffering," Ms Tozer said.
"These animals are particularly vulnerable because they are solely reliant on the owner to meet their needs and in this particular case, they were reliant on Mr Griffiths to identify and act if they were sick or injured."
Griffiths' defence solicitor Jenny Croxford told the court he was remorseful and got no enjoyment in inflicting pain, no monetary gain, and it was not intended to be cruel.
"The animals were in an awful state ... Their condition should never have been left to get that far," she said.
"This is really a case of inaction and procrastination."
Magistrate Peter Mithen sentenced Griffiths to a good behaviour bond without conviction, with the condition to pay $1500 to the court fund.
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