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Toowoomba horses are starving or dead on a drought-ravaged Queensland farm 

Animal rights organisations are furious after eight starving horses and 27 dead animals ‘slowly decomposing’ were discovered on a drought-ravaged farm in regional Queensland. 

The Animal Liberation Queensland has slammed the state’s Department of Agriculture for taking ‘very little action’ since the horses were discovered three weeks ago on a barren Toowoomba property, west of Brisbane. 

Shocking images obtained by Daily Mail Australia show skeletal horses with protruding ribs and dead horses decomposing in the dirt on the Charlton farm. 

In a statement, the ALQ said: ‘We have grave concerns for these 8 horses who have witnessed their friends starve to death. 

‘The surviving horses are still not being adequately fed. The bodies of their friends still remain on the property, slowly decomposing.’ 

In addition to the eight starving horses, there are 17 decomposing corpses and over 10 skeletons on the property, according to ALQ Executive Director Chay Neal. 

Skeletal horses are currently starving to death on a Toowoomba property in regional Queensland. The Animal Liberation Queensland has slammed the state’s Department of Agriculture for taking ‘very little action’ since the horses were discovered three weeks ago

Dead horses and horse skeletons lie in the dirt on the barren property. It is estimated that more than 27 animals have died on the drought-stricken farm in Charlton, Toowoomba

Dead horses and horse skeletons lie in the dirt on the barren property. It is estimated that more than 27 animals have died on the drought-stricken farm in Charlton, Toowoomba

A heavily decomposed horse, revealing its skull beneath rotting flesh. In addition to the eight starving horses, there are 17 decomposing corpses and over 10 skeletons on the property, according to ALQ Executive Director Chay Neal

A heavily decomposed horse, revealing its skull beneath rotting flesh. In addition to the eight starving horses, there are 17 decomposing corpses and over 10 skeletons on the property, according to ALQ Executive Director Chay Neal

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Neal said the discovery of horse skeletons suggests the animal mistreatment ‘has been going on for a long time’. 

‘It doesn’t make sense. The owner doesn’t live locally but we don’t understand why he hasn’t been prosecuted yet,’ he said. 

‘He has someone who comes to feed them but we don’t know how often they’re being fed and how often the department has been checking on them.’

In total, the ALQ estimates that as much as 27 horses have died on the property but Mr Neal said ‘it’s hard to get an accurate picture’. 

Among the dead animals were five racehorses, according to the ALQ, which sent members down to scan bodies for microchips. 

The dead racehorses include Onya Sonya, who is still listed as ‘active’ by Racing Australia and the ‘retired’ Miss Voli and Sarah’s Joy. 

In addition, two more dead racehorses, Oorawan and Aah, were found on the property and listed as deceased on January 20. 

Of the eight surviving horses, there is one ‘severely emaciated’ horse named Flagflamenco, who is also listed as ‘active’ by Racing Australia. 

Another decomposing horse corpse on the regional Queensland property. 'The surviving horses are still not being adequately fed. The bodies of their friends still remain on the property, slowly decomposing,' the ALQ said in a statement

Another decomposing horse corpse on the regional Queensland property. ‘The surviving horses are still not being adequately fed. The bodies of their friends still remain on the property, slowly decomposing,’ the ALQ said in a statement

Among the dead animals (pictured) were five racehorses, according to the ALQ, which sent members down to scan bodies for microchips

 Among the dead animals (pictured) were five racehorses, according to the ALQ, which sent members down to scan bodies for microchips

Shocking images obtained by Daily Mail Australia show skeletal horses with protruding ribs and dead horses decomposing in the dirt on the Charlton farm

Shocking images obtained by Daily Mail Australia show skeletal horses with protruding ribs and dead horses decomposing in the dirt on the Charlton farm

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Neal said the discovery of horse skeletons (pictured) suggests the animal mistreatment 'has been going on for a long time'

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Neal said the discovery of horse skeletons (pictured) suggests the animal mistreatment ‘has been going on for a long time’

A horse skull lies in the dirt next to faeces. After dead horses were discovered on the property, Biosecurity Queensland, which is a subdivision of the state's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, began investigating

A horse skull lies in the dirt next to faeces. After dead horses were discovered on the property, Biosecurity Queensland, which is a subdivision of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, began investigating

The mistreatment of horses on the Toowoomba property was first discovered by a local resident on January 10.

Biosecurity Queensland, which is a subdivision of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, is currently investigating the matter. 

On January 14, Biosecurity Queensland inspectors and a vet visited the property and directed the horses’ owner to feed them. 

The most recent update from Biosecurity Queensland came via a Facebook post on January 22. 

‘Please be assured that the horses are being cared for and fed appropriately to restore them to health,’ the post read. 

‘While the recovery process will take some time, we are pleased to report the horses are gaining strength.’  

However, Mr Neal said the owner has only been feeding the horses once a day so neighbors began giving the animals ‘high quality horse feed’. 

‘The food being supplied by the owner has been low quality, wet straw. The action by these neighbours has meant that no further horses have died,’ he said. 

Neighbours were instructed by Biosecurity Queensland to stop feeding the horses last Monday, according to Mr Neal.  

The emaciated horse matter is being investigated by Biosecurity Queensland, which is a subdivision of the state's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The body ordered neighbours to stop feeding the horses as they were being 'fed appropriately'

The emaciated horse matter is being investigated by Biosecurity Queensland, which is a subdivision of the state’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. The body ordered neighbours to stop feeding the horses as they were being ‘fed appropriately’ 

Dead horses lie side by side on the property, left to rot in the sun. The ALQ Executive Director called on the Department of Agriculture to take immediate action by prosecuting the owner and seizing ownership of the surviving horses

 Dead horses lie side by side on the property, left to rot in the sun. The ALQ Executive Director called on the Department of Agriculture to take immediate action by prosecuting the owner and seizing ownership of the surviving horses

After seeing he starving horses, neighbours began feeding them but were told to stop by Biosecurity Queensland. The department said they have spoken to the property owner and instructed him to feed the animals

After seeing he starving horses, neighbours began feeding them but were told to stop by Biosecurity Queensland. The department said they have spoken to the property owner and instructed him to feed the animals 

Horse bones and skeletons are scattered across the property and have not been properly disposed of. Mr Neal questioned how many horse must die before action is taken

Horse bones and skeletons are scattered across the property and have not been properly disposed of. Mr Neal questioned how many horse must die before action is taken

The ALQ Executive Director called on Queensland Minister of Agriculture Mark Furner to instruct Biosecurity Queensland to prosecute the owner and seize ownership of the horses. 

‘Waiting for more horses to die before taking action and prosecuting the owner is gross negligence by the Department,’ Mr Neal said.  

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses Campaign Director Elio Celotto blamed the racing industry for the mistreatment of horses. 

‘This is one of many horrific examples of what happens to horses once they are no longer wanted by the racing industry. Their outcomes are most commonly this or the slaughterhouse,’ Mr Celotto said. 

‘This multi billion dollar industry is openly allowing those only bred into the world because of them, to starve to death. It is abhorrent.’  

Jo Marsh was the local resident who discovered starving horses and posted photos of the farm to Facebook on January, sparking outrage in the community. 

‘These poor creatures are barely standing… The rest are lying around the paddocks in various states of decomposition. It appears they haven’t been fed for months and have starved to death!’ Ms Marsh captioned the post.  

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for an update on the situation, but no comment was received by the time of publishing. 

A gaunt horse stares into the camera on the barren Queensland property. Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses Campaign Director Elio Celotto blamed the racing industry for the mistreatment of horses

A gaunt horse stares into the camera on the barren Queensland property. Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses Campaign Director Elio Celotto blamed the racing industry for the mistreatment of horses

The mistreatment of horses on the Toowoomba property was first raised by local Jo Marsh on January 10, who posted photos to Facebook. 'These poor creatures are barely standing... The rest are lying around the paddocks in various states of decomposition,' she wrote

The mistreatment of horses on the Toowoomba property was first raised by local Jo Marsh on January 10, who posted photos to Facebook. ‘These poor creatures are barely standing… The rest are lying around the paddocks in various states of decomposition,’ she wrote

Biosecurity Queensland says inspectors and a vet visited the property in the Gowrie Mountain area, in Toowoomba west of Brisbane following complaints, and directed the horses' owner to feed them

Biosecurity Queensland says inspectors and a vet visited the property in the Gowrie Mountain area, in Toowoomba west of Brisbane following complaints, and directed the horses’ owner to feed them

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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