• The video was reportedly shot on the Tasmanian island of Australia
  • The man was charged with Cruelty to Animals under the Animal Welfare Act
  • Tasmanian authorities started investigating the matter after the video went viral

A 58-year-old man in Australia was arrested after a shocking video allegedly showing him shearing a sheep using a chainsaw started doing the rounds on social media.

The clip, which started circulating on social media in the middle of April, was reportedly shot on the Tasmanian island of Australia. In the video, a man was seen holding the distressed animal, while another person sheared its wool with a heavy-duty wood cutting tool. The sheep could be seen flailing as the man runs the chainsaw on it.

The disturbing visuals in the video sparked public outrage and anger in the community, The Australian reported.

Tasmanian authorities started probing into the incident, and, on April 22, identified people allegedly involved in the incident.

"On 12 April ... a person saw and filmed what appeared to be a sheep being crutched with a chainsaw," Tasmanian police told 7 News. "The film was later circulated on social media."

The man, who was arrested this week in connection with the incident, was charged with Cruelty to Animals under the Animal Welfare Act. He is expected to appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court at a later date, according to Perth Now.

It wasn't revealed if the other person involved in the incident was also arrested.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Tasmania, which assisted with the investigation, spoke about the rise of an "increasingly troubling trend" of images or videos of animal cruelty being brazenly shared on social media.

"We need your help to identify people who do the wrong thing and to ensure they are held to account for their actions," RSPCA officials told 7 News.

The RSPCA urged anyone who comes across such a video to report it to their Animal Cruelty Hotline on 1300 139 94.

In February 2019, the police in Washington Township, New Jersey, started investigating an alleged case of animal cruelty after the video of a woman throwing dogs at a trampoline went viral on social media. The distressing clip shared on Snapchat showed the woman tossing two dogs at a trampoline. The video received over 18,000 views since then, with some calling it "disgusting." Allie Torney, who posted the video with the intention to draw the public's attention to the cruel act, had also alerted the cops. Investigators said several other people reported the video to them. The investigation was ongoing and charges against the woman were pending.

Pictured: Representative image of a chainsaw. Hans Braxmeier/Pixabay