A jobless Melbourne man has vowed to continue his fight to keep his pet sheep Baa on his suburban property despite facing a A$150,000 ($190,727) legal bill after losing a court case.
Vu Ho intends to appeal, saying his fight is about defending the Australian values of justice and love for animals.
Ho told the Victorian Supreme Court that the City of Greater Dandenong had no power to fine him or order the removal of the sheep from the Springvale property.
But Justice Cameron Macaulay yesterday ruled the council did have the power to make local laws concerning the keeping of animals.
Outside court Ho said he faced legal bills of A$150,000 if costs were awarded against him, but would keep fighting.
"The sheep is a member of my family and I have to help her until the end of all of my capacity," he said.
"When first I came to Australia in 1981 I very much admired many values of Australian society - one of them was the love for animals.
"But I did not expect that 30 years later I could fight to defend that value. Another value was the love of justice and ... now I have to defendthat."
Lawyers for Dandenong sought costs against Ho. But Macaulay adjourned the matter to allow Ho's lawyers time to read the judgment before making submissions on costs.
Ho, a mechanic who came to Australia from Vietnam, said he had to stop working this year after his landlord sold the premises where he worked.
He said the financial stress was "enormous", but he believed that he would find more work.
- AAPBy Daniel Fogarty