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NZ man held in Oz rabbit bestiality dragnet

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A New Zealander working in Sydney as a "finance industry professional" has appeared in court charged with animal cruelty, bestiality and drug offences following the deaths of 17 rabbits and a guinea pig.

Reuters reports that the man was cuffed in his office at 1am this morning after a probe by cops and Australia's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

He faces 18 charges of "aggravated cruelty to animals", one count of bestiality and - just to put the cherry on the top of the cake - two counts of possession of cannabis.

The alleged offences were committed between July 20 and August 20, Reuters notes. The suspect did not enter a plea or apply for bail and was remanded in custody until an appearence at Sydney's Central Local Court on 19 August.

The authorities' reaction to this outrage seem surprising, given that Australia waged war for years against the cast of Watership Down. Perhaps if the alleged offences had been perpetrated on cane toads the detainee might not now be facing the full wrath of the law.

As regards the man's nationality, we leave it to our Australian readers to make merry with that. ®

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