SICKENING footage just released of a savage attack on a defenceless baby kangaroo will anger the nation.
Wildlife activists wept in court this week as the chilling footage was made public for the first time in a push for tougher sentences for animal cruelty offenders.
Throughout the 35-second film three men can be seen tormenting and torturing the frightened kangaroo, laughing as they slap it, kick it in the head and throw it around.
During the film, that was shot by one of the attackers on a mobile phone, Scott Saunders is seen repeatedly hitting the frightened animal with a stick before slapping it numerous times in the head.
In documents tendered to the court one witness recalled the kangaroo looked like it "had been so traumatised it just stood there in terror".
Shortly after the initial attack Hunter can be seen in the video running up to the already injured joey and kicking it in the head, sending it airborne.
The limp baby roo is then picked up by the tail and thrown several metres before it slams into a tree trunk.
Throughout the film the three men can be heard laughing before saying they planned to drop the dead kangaroo in the middle of a street.
The joey had been caught by a dog and put into the boot of a car that the Saunders brothers were travelling in.
It was later taken to Lions Park in Seymour where it was brutally killed.
Brett Saunders played no role in the actual attack on the animal other than to catch the joey.
The incident sparked widespread outrage with some animal rights' activists calling for the men to be jailed.
The footage was shown by Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion, SC, who has launched a County Court appeal against the non-conviction sentences of the men.
The landmark appeal is believed to be the first of its kind where the victim of crime is wildlife.
It comes as wildlife experts say there has been a worrying spike in wildlife assaults across Victoria over the past year.
Lawyers for the men this week said they had suffered harassment and received death threats since the incident was made public.
But DPP John Champion, SC, argued the men's sentences were "manifestly inadequate" and said tougher punishment was in the public interest.
Australian Society for Kangaroos spokeswoman Fiona Corke said she hoped the appeal would deter future perpetrators of animal cruelty crimes.
Read more on the Herald Sun.