The face of an unidentified driver who mows down emus in a disturbing video that has gone viral
The face of an unidentified driver who mows down emus in a disturbing video that has gone viral Facebook/Fabio.Galletti78

The man who filmed himself mowing down emus with his 4WD has been charged. Jacob MacDonald from Cowangie has defended his action, saying emus needed to be put down because they were causing destructions on their drought-troubled farm.

The 20-year-old farmhand has been charged with a number of offences, including aggravated cruelty to animals. Police will allege that he was driving at speeds of up to 120km/h during the incident. He could face jail for deliberately running down emus, and he said he was prepared to go to jail.

“If that’s what I get, that’s what I get,” he told 7 News.

The video, which was first uploaded by Facebook user Fabio Galleti, shows MacDonald laughing as he deliberately mows down running emus. It has garnered strong responses from social media users, with many, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), calling for his identity to be revealed. MacDonald has since been identified as the driver behind the 4WD.

He said the video was meant only for his mates. Unfortunately for him, he learnt too late that he couldn’t trust some of them.

“Yeah, someone’s obviously not as good of a mate as I thought,” he told 7 News. He added that it was a mistake and he found it funny at that time but not anymore.

“It’s the biggest stuff up of my life. I’m not proud of it,” he said, adding that his police officer mother and his farmer father had already scolded him, telling him he’s “dumb.”

But he also told Daily Mail Australia that he thought he was “doing a good deed.” He explained that the emus were destructive to their crops, which they were already having difficulty growing because of the extreme drought in the country. Despite laughing while killing the emus on camera, he said he didn’t mean to be cruel.

“They’re just that poorly; they need to be put down,” he said. “Here is what the RSPCA doesn’t understand. They go on about cruelty, they should come out here and have a look at the state of these animals… they’re not doing anything for them.

“It’s unreal the amount of damage they can cause.”

MacDonald is set to return to a Victorian court in November.