Ex-racehorses among animals found dead on rural property
LYING on a property near Toowoomba are 22 dead horses, which appear to have starved to death.
While eight horses still survive in an extremely poor condition, the finding has sparked outrage in the community as they feel nothing is being done.
Discovered by a neighbour, the incident was reported to the RSPCA, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.
The owner of the horses is from Mackay.
Members of the QRIC visited the property to scan the horses and found that seven were ex-racehorses.
The issue is currently being investigated by Biosecurity Queensland after the RSPCA said it didn't have the resources to look after such a large number of animals.
"Biosecurity Queensland inspectors and a veterinarian have attended a property … following an animal welfare complaint," a Biosecurity Queensland spokesman said.
"A direction has been served on the person in charge with regard to the ongoing care of animals on this property."
Founder of Australian Farm Animal Rescue Matters, Marjorie Pagani, said she had offered to take the horses off the owner's hands, but he declined. Since then, Ms Pagani said she has been paying to feed the horses herself from her home in Far North Queensland.
"Yesterday an observer maintained watch on the property and no one fed them at all," Ms Pagani said.
"I've arranged another feed drop today.
"We are the only ones keeping the horses alive, just, and probably not for much longer."
Ms Pagani said the State Government needed to take action.
"We need to get the Minister for Agriculture to do something," she said.
"We've had Caboolture and after Caboolture they promised something would happen.
"They should be seized and put with foster carers until something can be done.
"It's one of the worst cases you could possibly see, and I can't understand why the department won't remove them. How bad does it have to be?"
The owner of the horses lives near Mackay but he said he had seen some of the horses two months ago and they were okay.
"Once I did find out, I've been carting hay from up here to down there," the owner said.
"I have a man who goes there every couple of days to pump the water and feed them and keep an eye on them.
"The DPI has inspected them and approved that regimen of feeding them.
"Two of them are not too bad but six of them want a bit of building up, but I'm confident they will build up.
"I'm as upset about the whole thing as anybody else is, I love horses and I'm very sad about what's happened."
President of Save a Horse Australia, Rachel Daniels, said her team was on standby waiting to foster the animals.
"These horses will need at least 12-18 months of a feeding regimen which would need to be monitored per horse," Ms Daniels said.
"They have an emaciation score of 1-2 which is the lowest you can get before they pass away.
"Collaboratively working together to assist and rescue these horses would be the best outcome."