A woman in Western Australia has been fined $A11,000 and banned from being in charge of horses for three years in a welfare case.
Sharon Richardson was visited by RSPCA inspectors in September 2012 after a complaint of three skinny horses.
Inspectors found a three-year-old bay mare named Mia and a chestnut mare named Sadie in poor body condition. A third horse, known as Catch a Dream, was in very poor body condition.
A direction notice was issued to Richardson to provide proper and sufficient food for the horses.
In October, inspectors carried out a follow-up visit.
After questioning Richardson about food and water, inspectors were told that the horses were getting chaff and hay twice daily.
Inspectors checked the shed where the food was supposed to be housed and found it empty.
One horse was emaciated and was seized. Richardson was issued with two further direction notices to feed the horses.
A veterinarian was in attendance and also checked the welfare of the horses.
On December 5, RSPCA inspectors and a vet again visited to follow up on the direction notices issued by the RSPCA.
The poor body condition of the horses had deteriorated further and there was no hay or feed to be seen in the paddock.
RSPCA inspectors then seized the remaining two horses under the Animal Welfare Act and took them away for examination.
“We are very happy with today’s result,” RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said.
“If an RSPCA Inspector issues a direction notice to take care of an animal, that must be adhered to and failure to comply can end up in prosecution as happened today,” she said.
Richardson was also ordered to pay $A4379.50 in costs to the RSPCA, including veterinary treatment costs.