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An Australian man has been charged with cruelty to animals after he allegedly shot a horse with a crossbow and filmed it dying.

The 30-year-old man from Norseman, Western Australia, reportedly shot the animal before kicking it to the ground and using a mobile phone to film the result.

Police allege that the man approached the horses at around 7.30am on 1 August and that they were alerted to the attack after someone viewed the footage and informed the RSPCA.

“The horse, which was in pain and shock, received substantial wounds from being shot,” police spokesman told local press.

“The man then kicked the horse with significant force to force it to the ground and filmed the horse suffering and dying.”

The man has been charged with cruelty to animals and failing to ensure the safekeeping of a firearm and ammunition. He is also charged with possesion of unlicensed ammunition and will appear in Norseman Magistrates Court on 21 October.

Local equestrian enthusiasts are campaigning for the man to receive the maximum possible penalty. If you wish to support this campaign sign the petition.