Plea to foster starving Qld horses

Christine Flatley

An animal rescue group wants to urgently foster eight emaciated horses found in a Queensland paddock alongside 22 dead animals.

Marjorie Pagani extended the helping hand after going to authorities about the property in the Gowrie Mountain area, in Toowoomba west of Brisbane.

It was there that Biosecurity Queensland inspectors and vets found horse carcasses rotting into the ground in a barren paddock, surrounded by the bones of others.

Some of them were ex-racehorses.

It is the fate of eight that were found still alive and in a skeletal state that concerns Ms Pagani, founder of Australian Farm Animal Rescue Matters.

She says they are on the brink of death and in urgent need of treatment.

When authorities ordered the owner to feed them, Ms Pagani said they were given "mouldy garden mulch".

"They're in acres of dirt, we have foster carers ready to help," she added.

Ms Pagani said authorities have not responded adequately, and had taken too long to visit the property.

However, Chief Biosecurity Officer Malcolm Letts said inspectors were there within 48 hours of the complaints being made about the "distressing" state of the animals.

He said the surviving horses were now being properly fed and cared for, and that investigations were continuing.

Mr Letts said the drought had led to an increase in the number of animal welfare complaints relating to feed issues.

He said it was important that stock owners sought help quickly if they were having trouble caring for their animals.