News State Victoria News Man jailed for mowing down emus

Man jailed for mowing down emus

man jailed killing emus
Jacob MacDonald described running down the emus as the "biggest stuff-up" of his life. Photo: Facebook/Seven Network
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A man who mowed down emus on an outback road and posted a video of it online has been sentenced to 42 days in jail by a Victorian court.

Jacob Scott MacDonald was sentenced in Mildura Magistrates Court on Thursday over the sickening attack on Pellaring Road at Cowangie, in Victoria’s north-west, close to the South Australian border in September last year.

The farmhand, 20, had earlier described the emu attack as the “greatest stuff-up” of his life.

Video of the emus dying was posted on social media, sparking a nationwide manhunt before Victoria Police charged MacDonald with animal cruelty and traffic offences.

It also went viral, earning widespread disgust and online condemnation. The RSPCA called the footage shocking and horrific and confirmed the nationwide hunt for the person who filmed it.


In September, MacDonald told the Seven Network that running down the emus had initially seemed funny, but reality soon caught up with him.

“To start with it was funny. I pulled up to see that they were all dead, but it wasn’t too funny after that,” he said.

“It’s the biggest stuff-up of my life. I’m not proud of it. It was a silly idea.”

Police had charged him with a string of offences, including aggravated cruelty to animals, and MacDonald said he knew he was facing jail time.

“If that’s what I get, that’s what I get,” he said.

Seven News reported on Thursday that he was accompanied by dozens of family and friends when he appeared in court. Many had submitted character references.

MacDonald averted his eyes as the prosecutor showed the original video to the court.

Amid the fallout from the viral video, he deleted his social media accounts, and was also told off by his parents – including his police officer mother.

In September, MacDonald said his parents said “that I’m a dumbarse”.

On Thursday, he earned another telling-off, this time from the magistrate.

“You received pleasure from inflicting pain on defenceless animals,” Michael King said as he handed down the jail sentence.