Aussies in dock for hacking mouse, burning possums

AP News
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Posted: Jul 15, 2011 3:23 AM
Aussies in dock for hacking mouse, burning possums

Two young Australians pleaded guilty Friday to animal cruelty, one for filming herself hacking off a mouse's head and posting the footage on Facebook. The other person tortured and killed possums by setting fire, stabbing and blowing them up.

A Brisbane court ordered 23-year-old Naomi Anderson to perform 180 hours of community service for using a steak knife to cut off the mouse's head earlier this month. The rodent took 40 seconds to die. Anderson uploaded the film of the episode on Facebook using an alias.

She could have received a maximum punishment of two years in jail under Queensland state's animal cruelty laws.

In the other case, 20-year-old Jason Hampton of Tasmania state pleaded guilty to hunting and torturing about five possums in October and November 2009.

The court was shown videos of possums being stabbed with knives, clubbed with broom handles, set alight and blown up using aerosol cans and sparklers. The videos also showed possums being deliberately run over.

Hampton was ordered held in custody pending his sentencing on July 28. The maximum punishment for cruelty to animals in Tasmania is up to 18 months in jail.

Possums are small-sized marsupials native to Australia.