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Alpaca torturer got off too easy, Australian attorney general says, appealing sentence

An Australian government has stepped in to appeal a sentence handed down to a teenager who savagely beat two alpacas to death.
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The Australian state of Queensland wants harsher punishment dealt out to two teens who savagely beat alpacas on a school farm. (PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images)

BRISBANE, Australia — A teenager involved in beating two alpacas to death at a school farm in the Australian state of Queensland should have his punishment increased, the government says.

Queensland attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie said he was ‘"appalled by the despicable act of animal cruelty" by 19-year-old Wayne Charles Hartwig.

Hartwig walked free from court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to three charges of animal cruelty, the Brisbane Times reported.

Hartwig and a 16-year-old cohort, who cannot be named for legal reasons, savagely beat the two male alpacas — Harley and Harrison — with iron bars arout 5am on October 13 in the grounds of the Caboolture State High School.

They also whipped the animals, part of the school's agriculture program, with a hose and threw rocks at them.

One alpaca died instantly, while the other had to be put down when found the following day.

The attack was caught on CCTV, with the footage aired on national TV in Australia over the past day.

Hartwig was sentenced to six months' jail over the attack  — an banned from owning an animal for two years — but given immediate parole, according to the Queensland Times.

Bleijie told prosecutors that the sentence was manifestly inadequate and must be appealed, the Times wrote.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited Hartwig's attorney as saying that the his client suffered from depression and substance addiction.

Both boys were "grossly intoxicated" at the time of the attack, the lawyer said.

Hartwig had also received threats via social media in the wake of the attacks and initially denied involvement fearing that he would be ostracized.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/alpaca-torture-australian-wildlife-animal-cruelty

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