Farming and animal welfare groups have slammed a Sydney school after footage emerged of students tackling and wrestling sheep and rams during a rugby training camp.
The ABC obtained videos showing first and second XV players from Sydney's prestigious King's School in Parramatta chasing rams in a farm paddock and dragging them into designated squares before flipping them over.
The videos were reportedly posted on a Facebook page by teacher and coach James Hilgendorf and ex-professional Hugh Perrett, but were taken down when the ABC contacted the school on Wednesday.
The video, posted on a private Facebook page, shows members of The King's School's rugby team crash-tackling sheephttps://t.co/Ty4U1PCQPN— abc730 (@abc730) May 19, 2016
RSPCA chief executive Steve Coleman was disgusted by what he saw.
"Innocent animals are potentially being harmed, if not injured. You've got young impressionable teenage boys who seemingly are under the direction of an adult who saw fit to film it. It's subsequently been posted," Coleman told the ABC.
"To me that must smack of a level of acceptability about what was happening on that particular day, and from an RSPCA perspective, it's completely, completely unnecessary, unreasonable and how anyone could justify that kind of behaviour is beyond me."
President of the NSW Farmers' Association Derek Schoen said farmers would have watched the vision "with horror".
"This is unacceptable animal husbandry practice. You'd never treat your stock like that and I would say most concerned farmers would view that with a bit of horror," Mr Schoen said.
"It's distressing to the animals. It will make future husbandry practices more difficult with the animals - they'll remember what has happened in those yards.
"To have rams running around with a whole lot of school kids I think is just plain stupid."