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Police withdraw coronavirus fine for Melbourne horse owner – The Age

Police will not proceed with fining a Ferntree Gully woman for breaching COVID-19 restrictions while she was travelling to feed her pet horse.

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So, hes just like well you do understand I have to fine you,” she told the network.
But after the media reports, Victoria Police confirmed on Saturday night that it did not intend to proceed with the fine.
“Victoria Police is aware of a recent media report on a woman who was allegedly fined for breaching the stage three stay at home directions on her way home from feeding her horse,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
“Following an extensive search of our system, we cannot find any record of a fine being issued.
“We have since spoken to the woman who has confirmed she has not received a fine, but was told she would receive one in the mail,” she said.
“Based on the circumstances Victoria Police does not intend to proceed with the matter.”
Police would not reveal whether there had been other recent rescinded fines, but during Victoria’s first lockdown period a 17-year-old L-plate driver made headlines for a fine that was eventually withdrawn.
Hunter Reynolds was pulled over by police on the Peninsula Link in Frankston in early April and told she was “too far from home”.
The learner driver was fined $1652 for “non-essential travel”, but after media coverage police dropped the fine.
In response to the issue, Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday said there were “grey areas” for police enforcing coronavirus measures.
“The Chief Commissioner has been abundantly clear, and I support him in his absolute clarity that there will always be some grey areas, and it is fair and reasonable for police to exercise good judgement,” he said.
“The notion that people can now flagrantly ignore the rules and behave badly and just get a warning from Victoria Police, I think that will be, you would be unwise to embark on that strategy.
“That is not what the Chief Commissioner has said, it is not what his members are going to be doing.
“Good judgment, fair judgment will always be exercised and there will always be cases where things are a little more complex than they seem,” he said.
RSCPA Victoria moved to reassure anxious animal owners that they can, and should, continue to travel to feed and care for livestock or pets despite new COVID-19 stage three restrictions in place.
RSPCA Victorias head of inspectorate, Terry Ness, said people are required under the law to provide proper care for their animals and the current COVID-19 situation does not absolve them of those responsibilities.
Police doing stop checks in Melbourne on Friday.Credit:Jason South
Our RSPCA Inspectors are encountering many people who are unsure about whether they are able to travel to feed their animals or take them to a vet – we want to remind everybody that they are still able to provide proper care for their animals during this time, said Mr Ness.
People who agist their horses must also continue to visit and check on them regularly to provide proper care, and people who own or operate agistment facilities must continue to treat and care for the animals on the property and maintain the facility.
According to Victorias Department of Health and Human Services website, people can leave home to attend to animals that are not located at their place of residence.
If you need to leave home to attend to your animals, the restrictions travel with you and so you need to abide by the same rules as if you were at home, the website reads.
You should practice good hygiene, including washing and sanitising hands before and after handling animals and their equipment, bedding or food.
Almost 6000 people were fined during Victoria’s first stay-at-home lockdown period.
Victoria Police only reveal the circumstances of some breaches in their reports on fines. Over the past 24 hours to 11am on Sunday 118 people were fined for breaching restrictions, including seven people gathered for a 30th birthday party at a private residence in Caulfield.
Numerous people were stopped on their way to visit friends and family and were fined, as were those hosting private parties, a police spokeswoman said.
Police also issued 51 infringement notes at vehicle checkpoints over the past day.
Mr Andrews said Victoria Police were “not mucking about” during the second period of enforcement.
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