A man and woman who have pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges after a raid on a puppy farm have had their cases delayed further, with a key veterinarian expert being unavailable.
Copeton's Michael Gerard Flanagan and Ashmont's Casey Poulet were not required to appear for the case mention at Inverell Local Court on Thursday, and were instead represented by their solicitor George Hoddle.
An application served upon Mr Flanagan to dispose of 23 animals currently in the care of the RSPCA was also withdrawn after "fruitful discussions" between the prosecution and the defence.
Mr Flanagan, a puppy breeder, has pleaded not guilty to 23 charges following a raid on a property near Copeton in December.
He has been charged with two counts of failing to provide veterinarian treatment to an animal under his control; one count of failing to provide sufficient food to an animal; and several counts of failing to comply with his requirements as a proprietor.
Ms Poulet has also pleaded not guilty, facing one charge for possessing a non-prescribed electrical device; and nine charges of failing to comply with her requirements as a proprietor.
Mr Hoddle sought a further six-week adjournment for their reply to the charges certified by the RSPCA prosecution.
He outlined that two veterinarians were required to help analyse the "complex" brief - which had been served by the RSPCA legal team in April - yet one remained hospitalised as of two days ago.
Mr Hoddle said to reply without the vets' expertise would be like "putting the cart before the horse".
It's the second adjournment based on expert availability; the first was made on June 10 on the basis the vets hadn't had enough time to review the brief, but Mr Hoddle had previously indicated that "some resolution" of the matters may be possible following that expert review.
Magistrate Holly Kemp noted to "expect delays" as she adjourned their cases again. Katlyn Jurd for the RSPCA prosecution also sought to withdraw an application made for the disposal of 23 animals in the custody of RSPCA on Thursday.
When the two cases appeared before Inverell Local Court in March, it was noted that "costs were accruing" for the organisation.
The application was heard in court on June 10, and sought for the dogs to be sold, made available for adoption or "otherwise disposed of", the funds from which to be held in trust until the finalisation of the criminal charges.
"Discussions with my friend have been fruitful... and this [withdrawal] will save the court around two hours of time," Ms Jurd submitted.
The cases of Ms Poulet and Mr Flanagan will next appear on August 26.
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