April 2, 2012

Two people from a property near Nanango have pleaded guilty to treating three horses so poorly one of the animals had to be put down.

A man and a woman appeared in the Kingaroy Magistrates Court last week after a Biosecurity Queensland investigation.

They pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching their duty of care to three horses. They were fined $1500, ordered to pay court costs and prohibited from owning a horse for five years.

Investigations Manager Jason Tews said the pair failed to provide adequate food, water and living conditions between March 29 and April 22 last year.

He said the case highlighted the gravity of mistreating animals and the importance of caring for them properly.

“Having a duty of care means if you’re in charge of a horse you’re legally obliged to meet its needs in a reasonable way, including the provision of food and water, accommodation, treatment for illness, and freedom to express normal behaviour,” he said.

“Ensuring animals are in good condition can be a big job but it is essential. The basics include supplying shelter, clean water, an appropriate amount of fresh feed, and properly maintained fences and gates.

“Horses must be groomed and regularly exercised. Carers are also responsible for administering preventive treatment for worms and ticks, providing appropriate vaccination for disease and for providing special care when the animal is sick or injured.

“The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 makes it an offence to infringe duty of care obligations. The maximum penalty for an individual is $30,000 or one year’s imprisonment.”

Biosecurity Queensland and RSPCA Queensland both handle complaints about animal welfare.

“If you think a commercial livestock or poultry enterprise is mistreating or neglecting animals, report it to Biosecurity Queensland on 13-25-23,” Mr Tews said.

“Alternatively, call RSPCA Queensland on 1300-852-188 to register any concerns about hobby farms or companion animals.”

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