AN RSPCA inspector has warned horse owners to ensure they have the financial means and time to care for their animals after a horror year of reported horse neglect.
Last year Hervey Bay's Bianca Wogandt was found guilty of underfeeding her horses Aphrodite and Tiffany after she provided them with just one or two biscuits of hay a day for almost a year.
RSPCA Queensland chief Inspector Daniel Young said RSPCA Queensland inspectors had responded to more than a thousand complaints of horse cruelty and neglect in the past year.
"Some people are genuinely trying to do the right thing but often they have had little or no experience with horses. They'll take a horse from a saleyard that is already in poor condition and then expect its condition to improve when it's put in a paddock with very little grass.
"Others buy or rent a small acreage property and want to put horses on it, but they've given no thought to the cost of supplementary feed needed during the dry.
"A lot of them have little or no knowledge about worming and teeth and hoof maintenance.
"Owning a horse can be a very costly business and people have to realise they have a duty of care to that animal."
Mr Young said the RSPCA did not want to ensure another year like last year.
Ms Wogandt was fined $3000 in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court and was ordered to not own any horses for three years.
The court heard she was warned on a number of occasions that the horses needed to be fed more and was given expert advice about correct feeding when the horses were inspected in 2013.
Sixteen complaints were made by the general public regarding the condition of the horses, which were stabled at Ms Wogandt's mother's home in Dundathu.
It took three months for the RSPCA to get the horses back to a healthy weight.
Her mother, June Wogandt, was also sentenced over the neglect of the two horses.
She was sentenced to a 12-month good behaviour bond and was told she would have to pay $500 if she committed any other offences.
She was prohibited from owning an equine animal for three years.
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