A woman has been charged with animal cruelty, after allegedly starving her two horses until they were ‘skin and bone’.
The 39-year-old, from Champion Lakes in Western Australia, had her property visited by RSPCA in December after being alerted to the horses by a member of the public.
The inspector found two male Thoroughbreds at the back of the property, noting both
were in very poor body condition, with the outline of their ribs, hips, and spines visible.
The accused admitted the horses were ‘pretty much skin and bone’, but said she believed this was due to a virus.
She said the horses had been seen by a vet six weeks prior, but further inquiries by RSPCA WA found no record of recent treatment.
The inspector called in an external vet to examine the horses. She confirmed both were extremely emaciated, with significant muscle wastage, and needed immediate treatment.
RSPCA WA seized both horses due to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2002. They were transported to a vet hospital and underwent testing, which did not show a viral infection.
With proper feeding, both horses, aged 10 and 13, quickly gained weight while being cared for.
The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege the horses were not provided with proper and sufficient food.
The charges will be heard in Armadale Magistrates Court on 16 May.
The maximum penalty for a charge of animal cruelty is a $50,000 fine and five years in jail.