30 January 2023

A 43-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man have been charged with animal cruelty, after an emaciated and dehydrated horse was found on their South West property.

RSPCA WA was alerted to the horse by a member of the public and an inspector attended the couple’s property in Scott River East, near Nannup, on 22 July 2022.

The inspector found the 16-year-old chestnut thoroughbred mare in a faeces-ridden paddock at the back of the house. The horse was in poor condition, with her ribs, hips and spine clearly visible. In the absence of adequate food, trees and fence posts around the paddock had been chewed and eaten. The only available water was in a plastic trough filled with rubbish.

A vet exam at the property found the horse was dehydrated, visibly emaciated, and had muscle wastagedue to prolonged starvation. The horse was seized by RSPCA WA, and received IV fluids and medication before being removed from the property.

When questioned, the female accused said the couple were in the process of moving house. She admitted nobody had been at the property for over a week.

The couple, who now live in Mandurah, have been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege the horse was not provided with sufficient food and water.

The charge will be heard in Manjimup Magistrates Court on 2 March.

The maximum penalty for a charge of animal cruelty is a $50,000 fine and five years in jail.

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.