By Mitchell Clarke
A Narre Warren South man, who was filmed allegedly whacking a police horse with a pole during an anti-lockdown protest, has been charged with a string of offences including animal cruelty.
The 40-year-old man was caught on camera allegedly hitting the animal with the large flag during an out-of-control protest in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday 23 October.
The man was purportedly heard screaming “your horse is racist … racist horse” as he struck the horse.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed investigators executed a search warrant at a property in Narre Warren South on Wednesday morning, 18 November, and arrested the man.
He has since been charged with animal cruelty and a number of other offences including affray, reckless conduct, possessing a prohibited weapon and the storing of unauthorised explosives.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) spokesperson Emily Rice said the arrest came as a relief.
“We’re relieved to learn that police have laid charges following a vicious act of violence against an animal in Melbourne in October,” she said.
“PETA opposes all needless violence and the use of animals in situations in which they may be put at risk of harm.
“As evidenced by this event, using horses in protests puts them, the rider, and the public at risk of injury and should be avoided.”
The man was bailed and is set to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 4 June next year.