Two men have been charged with animal cruelty in connection with allegedly punching police horses during anti-lockdown protests in Sydney.
Two men have been charged with animal cruelty following an alleged attack on police horses during yesterday’s anti-COVID lockdown rally in Sydney’s CBD.
NSW Police have formed a strike force to identify “as many people as possible” who attended the rally despite COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
Thousands of protesters marched through Sydney’s inner city yesterday afternoon, many of them unmasked and carrying anti-vaccine placards, in a rally that descended into violence at times.
At the protest, images and video appeared to show police horses being shoved and struck.
Among them was police horse Tobruk, who has since been confirmed as being uninjured in the altercation.
At the rally itself, police arrested and charged 57 people and issued 90 others with infringement notices.
Police have confirmed since then that two men were arrested late last night and charged with a variety of offenses, including animal cruelty.
At 11.20pm yesterday, police responded to a unit on Marlborough Street in Surry Hills and arrested the 33-year-old.
He was arrested and charged with affray, joining an unlawful assembly, animal cruelty, and failing to comply with a COVID-19 direction.
The second man, a 36-year-old from Edensor Park, was apprehended at a house on Kalang Road.
He was taken to the Fairfield Police Station and charged with assaulting an officer while performing their duties, animal cruelty, and failing to comply with a COVID-19 direction.
Both men were denied police bail and are scheduled to appear in Parramatta Local Court today.
NSW Police said in a statement that the strike force has been working “all night” to identify those involved in the protest and that additional arrests are expected.
It occurred on the same day that New South Wales reported another sharp increase in its COVID-19 outbreak, with 163 new cases, including at least 45 who were infectious in the community.