Region’s animal welfare ‘crisis’ revealed

THE Department of Agriculture is investigating or monitoring 75 animal welfare cases in the Toowoomba region, including a property south of Toowoomba where a number of dead cattle and horses were found.

The owner of a neighbouring property alerted The Chronicle to the issue when he saw four dead cattle in a paddock.

"The biggest issue we've had over the past couple of years is there's been so many horses died and buried. We have no idea what these animals die of," they said.

"I don't know what's to be done.

"It's been happening over a period of five years, I'd say, but mostly in the past two years it's been quite bad."

A Biosecurity Queensland spokesman said an officer from the department had visited the property on Tuesday.

"Officers have been working closely with the owner... to address a number of animal welfare issues," the spokesman said.

"Biosecurity Queensland officers have visited the property on four occasions including February 4."

Animal Liberation Queensland executive director Chay Neal said they received a complaint about starving horses and cattle on the same property on October 11, 2018.

He said more needed to be done.

"I think we really have an animal welfare crisis, there is obviously a large number of cases and these are just the ones authorities are aware of," Mr Neal said.

"It seems incredibly rare that any of these cases end in prosecution.

"It seems like there is no deterrent for people who don't have animals' best interest at heart.

"I don't see any excuse for not prosecuting with repeat offenders.

"I understand in minor cases there can be a lack of knowledge which can be improved, but in these serious cases there needs to be consequences."

Mr Neal said he was sick of hearing the response from Biosecurity Queensland saying it cannot rush its investigations.

"In (a separate case north of Toowoomba), the care of these eight horses is still under investigation, but they've continued to let this man own the horses and it seems unlikely he'll be prosecuted," he said.

"It's time to start taking animal cruelty seriously."


Originally published as Region’s animal welfare ‘crisis’ revealed