MORE than 50 horses involved in an alleged cruelty to animals case remain in limbo on a Central West property months after they first came to the attention of welfare authorities.
Earlier this year 90 horses on a farm in Neville were reported to the RSPCA, with an animal rights group claiming the animals were starving and the charity was failing to act.
By May 30, horse numbers on the property had dropped to 70 after some were euthanised (not by the RSPCA) and others sold.
While the case has been referred to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), a spokesman said he could not reveal the current condition of the horses, what action has been taken and whether any horses had been seized by authorities.
He did confirm, however, that more than 50 horses remained on the property and that a stock welfare panel had been created on the RSPCA's request to "improve the welfare outcomes" of the animals.
"The panel has inspected the property to assess the condition of the horses and to guide decisions on their welfare and management," he said.
MAP: The horses are located on a property in Neville
The panel can issue an official warning to the owner giving directions for care of the stock.
If an owner fails to comply with directions and concerns for stock welfare remain, an order can be issued to seize and dispose of the stock.
Animal rights group Legion DX has been involved with the case for a number of months and via social media co-founder and lead organiser Isy Veira called for people to adopt or foster the horses.
In late May she told Australian Community Media (ACM) that a database of people willing to foster or re-home the horses had been created and would be passed on to the RSPCA.
The DPI spokesman told ACM this week that the case was sensitive and would not confirm if it had received this list or if any community members had fostered or adopted any horses.
The DPI spokesman also confirmed the the RSPCA had remained involved.
"RSPCA NSW has been monitoring the welfare of the horses and providing them with feed and veterinary services since May 30," he said.
The DPI's stock welfare panel is made up of an RSPCA NSW inspector; a DPI officer who has expertise in animal welfare or livestock management; a representative of Local Land Services with expertise in animal welfare or livestock management, and a veterinary practitioner if the Local Land Services member is not a veterinarian.
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