Mass deaths spark fury

Calls for urgent treatment for 8 horses after 32 others die near Toowoomba

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Thirty-two horses, including seven thoroughbreds, have died on a property in the Gowrie Mountain area.

Thirty-two horses, including seven thoroughbreds, have died on a property in the Gowrie Mountain area.

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Thirty-two horses have starved to death on a property west of Toowoomba and authorities have been accused of an uncaring attitude

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THIRTY-two horses have been found dead on a property west of Toowooomba, reigniting the fury which followed 2019 revelations of atrocious animal cruelty near Caboolture.

Another eight horses, each in a parlous condition, remain on the property, which is close to Charlton in the Gowrie Mountain area

Last October an ABC television report exposed the wholesale slaughter of horses, including once prized thoroughbreds. It sparked national condemnation and inspired governments and racing authorities to implement measures to safeguard horse welfare.

Margorie Pagani, founder of Australian Farm Animal Rescue Matters, said "this latest horror story" proved nothing had been learned from previous atrocities.

She said the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries had been alerted to the "appalling" mistreatment.

"These horses are living on dirt, barely eating," she said. "They are starving, they are just skeletons with a covering of skin. They require special care and a staged feeding program because they are so emaciated.

"They need the immediate - and gradual - introduction of food and supplements over a few weeks and good quality hay three times a day.

"This is just appalling.

"The government promised action in relation to animal welfare and we have been watching the property and I assure you there have been days when no-one arrived to feed any of the horses.

"It seems the authorities just don't care."

It is understood seven of the dead horses are thoroughbreds and Queensland Racing Integrity Commission officers are investigating.

The RSPCA, which has also been notified by Ms Pagani and others, had contacted DAF with the complaints "as a matter of course", according to a spokesman.

Biosecurity Queensland inspectors and a veterinarian visited the property and a direction was served on the person in charge with regard to the ongoing care of animals on this property.

"It is the duty of those people in charge of horses to take whatever is reasonable care and ensure their health and well-being," spokesman Malcolm Letts said.

It is believed the property owner does not own the horses.

Eight emaciated horses remain alive on the Gowrie Mountain area property where 32 others have died.

Eight emaciated horses remain alive on the Gowrie Mountain area property where 32 others have died.

Marjorie Pagani said nothing was learned from previous atrocities and urgent care was needed to preserve the remaining horses.

Marjorie Pagani said nothing was learned from previous atrocities and urgent care was needed to preserve the remaining horses.

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