Man who planned Minto zoo faces court on animal cruelty charges

Macarthur Wildlife Park and Zoo owner Daniel Brighton. Picture: Ben Chenoweth
Macarthur Wildlife Park and Zoo owner Daniel Brighton. Picture: Ben Chenoweth

The man who wanted to create a zoo and wildlife park at Minto Heights has fronted Campbelltown Court on animal cruelty charges today.

Daniel Brighton, who is the owner/manager of Get Wild Pty Ltd, plead not guilty to charges of failing to provide veterinary treatment and proper and sufficient food to an alpaca, two chickens and a kookaburra.

Barrister Glen Porter appeared for the prosecution on behalf of RSPCA NSW and barrister Tom Jones defended Mr Brighton.

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017 RSPCA NSW officers and a veterinarian seized the four animals from Mr Brighton’s property at 49 Hansens Road, Minto Heights.

Magistrate Guy heard the case and listened to witnesses testify, including RSPCA NSW Inspector Natalie Will.

Inspector Will was the first to give evidence.

She told the court the animals were removed after being assessed as in “poor body condition”.

She expressed concerns about the animal’s living conditions at the property.

The matter was adjourned and will be heard again over a two-day hearing on November 29 and 30 at Campbelltown Court.

Mr Brighton’s company Get Wild Pty Ltd submitted a development application to Campbelltown Council in 2016 to establish the Macarthur Wildlife Park and Zoo from the Hansens Road property.

The application sought approval to house crocodiles, a boa-constrictor and a baboon.

A dingo yard, eight aviaries wallaby and emu yard; camel enclosure and an ostrich enclosure were also proposed for the site.

A list of animals to be housed at the facility listed on the application included: salt and fresh water crocodiles; American alligators; lace monitors; boobook owls; rhino iguanas; red-tail boa constrictors; two breeds of capuchin monkeys; meerkats; Arabian camels and hamadryas baboons.

The application was opposed by a large number of nearby residents who said the increase in traffic, effect on the local environment and commercial aspect of the development, were “not in keeping with the character of the suburb”.

A Campbelltown Council spokeswoman said the application was refused in July 2017.