Residents fear for Bewong horses

RSPCA NSW has seized a horse at Bewong after concerns were raised over the condition of the animals at an agistment property.

Neighbours say the horses are agisted by several owners on a property visible from the Princes Highway and many are in what they describe as “shocking condition”.

Neighbour Desmond Holmes said the horses are visibly underweight, with some suffering from tick infestations and resulting sores. 

The 72-year-old, along with other concerned residents, has been hand feeding the horses. 

“I feed them as often as we can afford to buy hay,” he said. 

“We’ve also been getting bread from the bakers in town to feed the cows in the paddock but you can’t feed the horses just bread, they need proper food.”

“Unfortunately the situation has not been resolved and so further action has been taken today, including one horse that has been seized under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act."

RSPCA NSW

At $17- $19 a bale however, Mr Holmes said it isn’t feasible for him to feed all the horses, which he estimates at around 13 horses in a paddock of less than 10 acres. 

He’s thankful for the generosity of other neighbours and local residents, who have also been dropping off horse feed for him to give to the horses. 

“I love horses and I just want them well-cared for,” Mr Holmes said. 

Mr Holmes said he first brought the issue to the attention of the RSPCA three months ago. 

RSPCA NSW inspectors and an equine specialist veterinarian visited the agistment property on Friday, December 8. 

A RSPCA NSW spokesperson said that while they’ve been working with the owners of the horses to improve their welfare regarding the provision of veterinary treatment and feeding, sufficient action was not taken. 

“I love horses and I just want them well-cared for.

Desmond Holmes

“Unfortunately the situation has not been resolved and so further action has been taken today, including one horse that has been seized under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,” the spokesperson said.

“The owner of another horse with a condition which meant it was unable to be transported has been issued with veterinary instructions to be actioned within 24 hours.”

The RSPCA spokesperson said the other horses were not legally able to be seized but various owners have been issued with 24N Written Instructions around veterinary treatment and supplementary feeding.

RSPCA NSW said it will be monitoring this situation “very closely”.