Welfare agency investigates starving horses
COMMUNITY outrage has triggered the RSPCA to investigate how three horses have been left in a Darling Downs paddock with little more than grass clippings for food.
The three malnourished horses are bordering on starvation in a large rural property at Leyburn, with a dwindling water supply and only small amounts of hay thrown over the fence by outraged nearby residents.
One horse has what appears to be a swollen injury near its flank and is the poorest of the trio whose owner is being tracked down by the Toowoomba RSPCA.
Leyburn resident Realene Davis yesterday contacted The Chronicle with photos of the horses after they were seen scrounging for food in the sparse paddock.
She fears the horses will perish in the heat and with the lack of food, and called on the RSPCA to seize the animals and give them emergency treatment.
RSPCA inspector Shawn Janson confirmed a number of complaints had been filed with the animal protection agency after photos were posted to social media on Sunday.
Mr Janson conceded the horses were in poor condition, particularly the chestnut which he maintained could survive its poor state with food and veterinary care.
He confirmed the RSPCA was investigating the case and had made attempts to locate the owner of the horses after the agency was contacted by The Chronicle yesterday.
"I can confirm I have attended the property and am making some inquiries with the owner," he said.
Mr Janson commended concerned local residents for reporting the horses to the RSPCA, but urged anyone with concerns to contact the agency directly so the cases could be actioned.
He said the horses would be closely monitored in the coming weeks while efforts to locate the owner of the animals were carried out.
"People have to understand that once we've got the job we will see it through," he said.
"We would prefer people to report to (RSPCA) in the first instance than report it on social media in the hope we can get hold of the information accurately and respond to it."
He said dry conditions were not an excuse for animals to be left in poor conditions.