Echuca Horse Sales, Cruelty Overlooked ?
In this months edition I want to bring readers attention to a place many horse people are quite familiar with, the Echuca horse sales. Over the years hundreds of horses have gone through the sales in hopes of finding a forever home. Though this may give horses a second chance it doesn't change the fact that the condition some of these horses come to the yards in is appalling.
To the right you will see a photo of a mare with a foal at foot, she is extremely underweight and very dehydrated and is still expected to take care of her young foal, this was completely overlooked by the yard managers who are supposed to assess horses to make sure they are in fit condition for sale. Anyone can look at this mare and tell she is in poor condition and the sad part is that these pictures were recently taken at the 2014 February sales.
Another cruelty case which took place in the February sales is that of the gelding which is pictured below. If the picture of the mare made you angry this will make you furious. This horse is sickeningly emaciated and in horrific condition, with all his ribs and hip bones visible as well as not being treated for a painful condition called rain rot.
Concerned people are being stonewalled by those that are supposed to be enforcing these rules for the safety and wellbeing of the horses. Reports of neglect are being ignored and overlooked by the Campaspe Shire, RSPCA and DEPI and it leaves people feeling hopeless, frustrated, angered and disappointed.
What more do we need to do to get their attention? There are PROCTA (codes of practice) governed by the DEPI which are not being followed such as how old a foal can be to travel, how far into pregnancy a mare can be sold at, age in which mare and foal are to be sold separate in sale, condition of horses being accepted for sale (body score) and MUCH much more.
Many horses are also dropped off days before a sale and not picked up till days later, the water is not even considered clean and many horses will not drink it and for smaller horses some are even unable to reach the water even if it were drinkable...
How is this deemed acceptable? Below is another case where a severely dehydrated and underweight mare was deemed 'fit' for sale because it had 'bright eyes' and said to have had muscle tone and met requirements to be sold. The superintendent claimed the horse was (quote) 'not emaciated'. What an absurd claim is this? Not only did an experienced horse woman report this case but also ACHA's (Animal Cruelty Hotline Australia) Barrie Tapp who was an RSPCA senior inspector for two decades as he claimed it didn't meet the DEPI's minimum health standard and the horses body weight was claimed to be a zero to one out of five.
So what is being done to stop people thinking it is acceptable to bring horses in similar conditions and why haven't reports like these been followed up on and investigated?
I don't find this acceptable.... Do you?
Anyone that has concerns regarding any animal welfare issue and gets no satisfaction from other agencies free call Animal Cruelty Hotline Australia (sponsored by several animal welfare agencies) you can remain anonymous if you wish so. 1800751770