1 February 2023

A 50-year-old man, whose horse was found emaciated and covered in painful growths, has been sentenced for animal cruelty.

The offender was fined $4000 and banned from contact with horses and pets for three years after the Albany Magistrates Court heard the offender failed to seek vet treatment for the elderly horse, Mack. In sentencing, Magistrate Dianne Scaddan described the visible growths on Mack’s body as ‘hideous’ and noted that he ‘must have been in pain’.

On 31 March 2022, an RSPCA WA inspector attended the offender’s address in Youngs Siding to investigate a cruelty report.

She found Mack in poor condition, with his backbone, hips, and ribs prominent. He also had oozing growths on his body that were emitting a strong rotting smell.

A vet exam revealed the horse was around 200kg underweight, and that growths in and around his mouth appeared infected and would have been causing pain.

The vet advised the offender that Mack should be humanely euthanised, but he refused.

The RSPCA WA inspector seized Mack. Further testing revealed a host of additional medical issues. Despite intensive treatment, he sadly could not be saved.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said Mack’s suffering was plain to see.

‘It would have been clear to anyone attending to this horse every day, as the owner claimed to be doing, that Mack needed urgent vet treatment,’ she said.

‘The tumours and ulcers on his mouth were so bad that the simple act of eating would have been painful.

‘The offender’s determination to ignore the obvious resulted in many months of unnecessary suffering for poor Mack.

‘If you are no longer able to provide a suitable level of care for your animals, you must reach out for help sooner rather than later. It’s never OK for an animal to deteriorate without treatment the way Mack did.’

The offender was charged under sections 19(1), 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. He has been ordered to pay $2808.02 in court and care costs to RSPCA WA.

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.