Newsletter ordered to pay RSPCA $100,000 for libel
November 30, 2011 - 1:12PM
An online newsletter editor has been ordered to pay $100,000 in defamation damages to the RSPCA after claiming it was cruel and needlessly destroyed animals.
In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Megan Latham ordered Mal Davies, the editor of SOS-News, to pay the damages relating to an article on March 19 this year.
Mr Davies took no part in the proceedings, in which the RSPCA sued him, claiming the article contained six false defamatory meanings.
The article referred to a 78-year-old farmer, Ruth Downey, failing to get special leave to mount a High Court challenge in relation to animal cruelty charges.
The defamatory meanings included that RSPCA NSW was a cruel organisation in that it executed healthy cows for no reason and that it killed Ms Downey's cows in an inhumane way.
The judge said claims that the RSPCA acted cruelly and for significant financial benefits of its directors, rather than for its stated objectives, clearly had the tendency to lower the organisation's reputation.
As well as $100,000 damages, Justice Latham made orders including that Mr Davies be restrained from publishing any matter substantially to the same effect as the article.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/newsletter...#ixzz1fAWM94JW