Bredbo Valley View farm - providing quality education in Permaculture and sustainable living practices.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Are they your horses?

I generally stay out of town politics but I went to a Town meeting about the dump on Thursday – always a highlight, the dump. A lady approached me and asked when was I going to feed my horses, another lady jumped in as well and then the local RSPCA Inspector got interested in the discussion. Anyway, the horses the lady was talking about don’t belong to our farm; they are being agisted on land owned by the Livestock Health and Protection Authority (LHPA).

We have complained in the past to the people concerned and to the LHPA with little effect, people just don’t seem interested. So I ramped up my efforts and attempted to get the horses looked at by whom ever I could find – that was Friday.

I was again approached by somebody at the dump on Sunday, for the same reason, the poor horses. This time I decided to escalate things and armed with a camera I went across and took photo’s of the horses, I checked their teeth and none of them were older the 14 at the most. They had good feet, which was something.

So I rang the RSPCA again and got permission to give the horses water, I hadn’t seen a trough or bucket in the paddock since Wednesday and it may have been longer. They drank every drop and were still thirsty but I didn’t want to give them too much in case they got sick. That afternoon one of the horses came down to our gate and laid on the grass in the corner of the paddock – it was still there in the morning.

Sunday night I emailed the pictures to the RSPCA and Monday morning I rang the head office of the LHPA and emailed them pictures as well. I received a phone call back some time later saying they may send a Ranger and the Vet out after the Cooma Sale if they have time. I haven’t heard anything from them since. The lady that called me told me that officially they couldn’t do anything under the RLPB Act, that wasn’t my concern, because under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act it is their problem.

I arrived home Monday afternoon and there was still no water for the horses but the worst looking horse had gone, it was the one I’d seen laying down in the corner. I half expected angry people waiting for me at the gate when I got home. Tuesday I went off to work, a I left I checked and still no water for the horses, I’d had enough so I waited till the afternoon – hoping the LHPA would ring and tell me they had solved the problem but nothing. So I contacted the RSPCA again sent in more photo’s, an hour later on the way home I received a call saying the Senior RSPCA Inspector in NSW was going to deal with the issue. Finally, the up side being the horses had water last night, unfortunately it was all gone this morning, but hopefully these people might start looking after their animals.

Last thing, I’ll share one of the excuses I heard when I asked around about what people thought about how the horses looked “But she has so many (horses), you can’t expect her to look after them all”
If you'd like to complain about the state of these horse send an email to and tell them your not impressed, the horses are located on the Bredbo TSR - the more the better.

I think I need to take a break …………


Em said...

That is absolutely disgusting!!! I cant believe her 'excuse' or the fact that the authorities arent taking action. It makes me so sad to see animals, especially horses being treated like that. Part of the reason I want a large property eventually is so I can take on horses that have been ill treated, fix them up and find them GOOD homes.

I used to work at a large riding ranch and part of the reason I quit was I hated seeing the condition the horses were in and how they were treated, but the management didnt care - it was all just about the $$$ to them.

I really wish people had to have a license to keep animals.

The Duck Herder said...

that is really really sad and distressing Mr BVVF. I had a friend who had a 39(!) year old horse with no teeth who was very skinny and slow (for obvious reason) but quite comfortable receiving his 3 cooked meals a day. He was in her front paddock and the neighbours called the RSPCA and the inspector treated her like a CRIMINAL untill she was able to get her vet to contact them.

So, it it pretty CRAP that you can't even get them out for an inspection for OVER A WEEK!!!!!

And what about that chick near Michelago who was taken to COURT because she surrendered a dumped kitten someone had given to her who was malnourished and didnt thrive in her care?

Such crappy crapy service. Let me know if you would like me to slip the photo onto the Canberra Times...

see you at bee club!

you know me said...

Agree with these comments. The RSPCA hierarchy should be made aware of the slow reaction of their inspectors. The RLPB, as the lessors of the land, should be able to intervene and should make this part of their lease agreements. And isn't it really scary how all the neighbours thought that they were your horses Martyn, and that you were the culprit. For rural people, this shows that what happens on the next farm is your business as well. Finally, people who 'collect' horses end up with too many. If you haven't got the time, facilities and most of all the money to look after them, then don't accept the next one, even if you might be saving it from what you think is a bad (or no) future.

Kimberley and Duncan said...


I actioned this by sending an email to the address you provided. I had a quick follow up email from the ranger, who said he went down on Thursday with the RSPCA inspector to look at the horses and they are in okay condition. I gave him the link to your website so he could see the photos of the horses. Greg Greenwood (ranger) mentioned to call him if there was any other problems. I thought that was the end of it and was satisfied, but I have been recently contacted by the "Acting" animal health manager via a very rude email. I have to post it in a second comment..sorry.

Kimberley and Duncan said...

I am glad that when you made a more appropriate approach you were satisfied with the response.

Might I suggest that if you want to be treated as a member of the public rather than a meddling Canberra bureaucrat you use your personal email account.


From: Rowlands, Kimberley
To: Dan Salmon; lhpa smc; Tim Seears; Jim McDonald
Subject: RE: Horses on Bredbo TSR [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Thank you for that very helpful and polite reply. Or at least to cc me in on your comments to colleagues (I am assuming it is me you are referring to despite your error in my name in your email).

The property I am referring to is land which is, if not owned, then managed by LHPA. It is has access along the Monaro Highway. I did therefore, direct my enquiries to the correct area.

I have spoken to a ranger from LHPA who has informed me that he has been down to the property with the RSPCA to inspect the animals, as they are agisted onto land which is managed by the LHPA. The ranger was very helpful, very open in his communication, and was eager to have this rectified. I appreciated his honesty, and the speed with which he contacted me.

Unfortunately I could not say the same for your response, directed at a member of the public to whom you have no prior relationship. Not only do I consider it rude and unhelpful, but it is also inaccurate, and you have not taken the time to even address me personally.

I note that you are in an acting role, and it is perhaps with more experience and knowledge of the properties within the Bredbo area that you may, eventually, be successful in gaining a permanent management role. May I suggest to you (and perhaps your supervisors?) that you also enrol in some courses on how to deal with enquries from members of the general public.


Kimberley Rowlands

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Salmon []
Sent: Thursday, 13 August 2009 4:08 pm
To: lhpa smc; Tim Seears; Jim McDonald
Cc: Rowlands, Kimberley
Subject: RE: Horses on Bredbo TSR [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

This is not a problem that I can do anything about.

It is not a problem that State Council can do anything about.

It is a problem for the people who are in control of the area.

If Ms Rowland were prepared to take the trouble to find out who was in control of the land she could speak to them.

Dan Salmon

Acting Animal Health Manager

From: Rowlands, Kimberley To: RLPBSC
Subject: Horses on Bredbo TSR


I am a landholder in the Bredbo/Jerangle area and we are very concerned about the state of the horses located along the roadside there. If this land is owned by you, and those horses agisted you have a legal obligation to ensure the horses are maintained, regardless of the arrangments you have with the owners.

Primary consideration should be given to the animals and their welfare, not whose responsibility it is.

I am sure your organisation would not enjoy media scrutiny if this became more widely known.

I look forward to seeing the horses being properly cared for and given the attention they deserve.

Thanks & regards,

Kimberley Rowlands

Valley View said...

Thanks Kimberley, You seem to be getting the same reponse I do - I can't believe it took a week to get to the horses after I first contacted them - and the RSPCA. Thanks for your efforts,


Valley View said...

to add - unfortunately the sick ones had been removed by the time that these people managed to get there - which is another concern for me as these complaints are supposed to be confidential.