RSRSPCA Victoria calls on owners to step up efforts to care for the animals in their care after another preventable death case was prosecuted in Seymour Magistrates’ Court.
While visiting a Trawool property in response to a report of cruelty involving a horse with an infected eye, an RSPCA Victoria inspector immediately noticed a gray gelding with a very large infected mass covering its entire left eye.
Due to the severity of the eye injury, the inspector arranged for a local vet from the Seymour Equine Clinic to visit the property after numerous attempts to contact the owner failed.
The vet noted that the gelding had a large, bleeding, purulent golf ball-sized lump that completely obscured his left eye and left him blind in that eye. Immediate pain relief was given to the horse while further attempts were made to contact the owner.
Two days later, when the owner responded to contact requests, he indicated that he was aware of the growth of the horse’s eye but had not requested treatment for the animal as the horse did not seem to show any outward signs of discomfort.
The attending vet indicated that the gelding would have been in significant pain and discomfort, and that the advanced stage of growth meant a poor prognosis with little hope of recovery. Based on this assessment, the owner arranged for the horse to be euthanized for human reasons.
Subsequently, the accused provided a written statement confirming that the lesion had first developed more than five years previously, but that he had not noticed any deterioration of the lesion or the condition of the horse. over the following years. He claimed he had not seen the horse in daylight for two to three weeks prior to the RSPCA visit and that the deterioration must have been extremely rapid.
RSPCA Victoria Inspection Team Leader Michelle Green said the horse was said to have suffered for an extended period of time and it was clear that the accused had made no attempt to seek veterinary care for the horse in recent years.
“The vet’s analysis of the case showed that the horse had experienced significant pain and that the size, location, appearance and smell of the lump should have been easily identified by a layman as requiring treatment. veterinarian, regardless of their experience in the care of horses. .
“Pretending that an animal has not been seen for a while is just no excuse for neglecting. Anyone who owns or is responsible for an animal, whether domestic or farmed, has a legal obligation to take care of that animal, and regular monitoring of its health and condition is an integral part of this responsibility.
“If veterinary care had been sought months or years ago, we could have envisioned a very different outcome. The most frustrating part about these cases is that they are often completely preventable, ”said Inspector Green.
The accused pleaded guilty to a single charge and was convicted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1984 (POCTAA). He was sentenced to a fine of $ 1,000 and costs of $ 1,747.00. He was further disqualified for a period of one year from owning or being in charge of a horse.
RSPCA Victoria encourages anyone who can no longer care for their animals to seek help or support.