No excuse for neglecting horses
24 November 2015
Horse owners across the state are being urged to plan ahead in the face of dry conditions and a potentially severe summer.
This warning comes after a Goulburn Valley man was found guilty last week for a dereliction of care when he failed to supply his horses with enough water to survive a hot period.
Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne is urging all animal owners to plan ahead now before the availability of on-farm water and fodder deteriorates.
"This is a sad case and as often is the situation, there are other issues impacting the running of the property," Dr Milne said.
"We cannot make excuses for animal owners who do not care for their animals properly, even if they are faced with other challenges."
"As an animal owner it is your responsibility to ensure regular supervision and supply of feed and water, if this is not possible then other arrangements are needed."
"If you're struggling to care for your horses our advice is list or agist, this means put them up for sale or make arrangements for someone else to care them on their property."
"If agisting ensure you have a written contract in place which sets out responsibilities of horse and property owners."
The case at Shepparton Court centred around horses being unattended for a number of days and a dam water supply pipe silting up, which led to seven horses dying from a lack of water.
"We are working with the RSPCA to help get the message out to horse owners to make the best decisions as early as possible," Dr Milne said.
"Whether it's through its veterinary practices, regional inspectors, online or via telephone, RSPCA Victoria, along with Victorian Government staff, are always on hand to offer expert advice on animal welfare."
Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA Victoria Dr Liz Walker said it is unacceptable for animals to be allowed to starve to death or die of thirst under any circumstance.
"Those with a responsibility for the care of any animal must continue to ensure their animals' welfare during extended periods of extreme weather," said Dr Walker.
"These rules don't only apply to mainstream farmers, small area and hobby farmers as well as owners of domestic animals have the same responsibilities to put in place management strategies that will provide for the care of animals."
Categorised under: Agriculture,Prosecution