A magistrate has noted that granting another adjournment would not cause "undue delay" for the RSPCA case against a Copeton puppy breeder and Ashmont woman.
It's the fifth time the case has been put over this year, and Magistrate Holly Kemp on Thursday allowed this latest adjournment to aid the "productive work" being done outside of the courts.
Michael Gerard Flanagan, a puppy breeder, has previously pleaded not guilty to 23 charges following a raid on a property near Copeton in December, 2020.
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.
Ashmont's Casey Poulet has also previously 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.
Katlyn Jurd, appearing on behalf of the RSCPA prosecution and acting with instructions from defence solicitor George Hoddle, said their discussions and consolidation of "significant special expert material" would save the court "considerable time".
When the two cases appeared before Inverell Local Court in March, it was noted that "costs were accruing" for the RSPCA, who had custody of 23 dogs related to Mr Flanagan's charges.
An application was heard in court on June 10 seeking for the 23 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.
Yet the application was withdrawn in July after "fruitful discussions" between the prosecution and the defence. The cases were adjourned again because two expert veterinary witnesses were unable to review the required material, with one being hospitalised.
In September, a representative for the defence asked for another adjournment due to the "lengthy" nature of the brief that was served on them.
Without this fifth adjournment, Ms Jurd said if the matter progressed to a hearing, it would take about one week.
Considering those circumstances, Magistrate Kemp put Flanagan and Poulet's cases over to November 17 for plea or mention.
"I note that on the face of it the matter has been before court for a lengthy time ... however good and appropriate work is being done by both parties," Magistrate Kemp said.
She said given the "complex issue of expert evidence," both parties were to have details of the length of trial, venue, and other pertinent details ready if the cases would go to hearing.
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