How did this happen? Images of starving horse spark outrage

SAD SIGHT: The horse at the centre of the controversy in a yard at the Laidley horse sale.
SAD SIGHT: The horse at the centre of the controversy in a yard at the Laidley horse sale. Contributed

AN EMACIATED horse at the Laidley horse sale has sparked outrage and led to an investigation into possible animal cruelty.

Pictures of the poor horse quickly spread across social media with animal welfare groups condemning the sale for accepting the horse.

North West Equine Rescue was inundated with comments and offers to help after it posted photos of it.

Brian Munro, who runs the Gympie horse sale, said the horse shouldn't have been sent to the Laidley sale in the first place.

"Once it gets to the sale it becomes the agent's responsibility and there's no good served by being responsible for something like that," he said.

He said the person who transported the horse could also be liable to a $500 fine for transporting a weak or debilitated animal.

"They need jerking back into line the whole lot of them," he said.

"He shouldn't have accepted it but they shouldn't have carted it.

"I know it's caused a big kerfuffle and it doesn't do the business any good at all."

Bernie Coonan from Toowoomba who runs the regular Laidley horse sale said misinformation had been spread about the horse.

SAD SIGHT: The horse at the centre of the controversy in a yard at the Laidley horse sale.
SAD SIGHT: The horse at the centre of the controversy in a yard at the Laidley horse sale. Contributed

He said the horse arrived in a truck with 14 healthy horses and it wasn't spotted until after the truck had been unloaded.

"It shouldn't have been presented at the sale that's for sure but the point of the matter is there's been a lot of conjecture on Facebook and all the rest of it and the full story is the horse wasn't even offered and it wasn't even sold," Mr Coonan said.

"Because the bloke had driven away after unloading it with a mob of horses, we had the horse with us in the yard and there were more people coming into the yard so this bloke couldn't get back on to the race to load this horse."

He said the horse was put back on the truck after an available position came up.

"It was an aged horse that was in light condition - no risk at all - but it was an aged horse and he didn't have the fortitude to put it down himself so he brought it in with other horses that were in very good condition," Mr Coonan said.

"But the thing is it went back on the truck and it went back to his place. What he did with it, I don't know."

Biosecurity Queensland said it was investigating.

"Biosecurity Queensland is investigating a report of a possible animal welfare situation involving an emaciated horse in the Laidley area," a spokeswoman said.

"Under the Animal Care and Protections Act 2001 all persons in charge of animals have a duty of care to ensure the animals receive appropriate food, water, living conditions and treatment for any disease or injury."

Topics:  animal cruelty biosecurity queensland

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