Starving horse photos stir outrage
The Department of Primary Industry are investigating after photos of at least one starving horse, reported to be in Marrakai, were posted online. The RSPCA said that horse and other horses needed urgent attention.
The photos were posted on Facebook by a Marrakai resident, who alleged the animals had been neglected for months.
The post had receive more than 1000 comments and had been shared more than 2000 times by Tuesday morning, with people pleading for police and animal welfare to intervene.
A Department of Primary Industry and Resources spokeswoman said the photos were taken in October and the Department had been investigating the situation since November.
"The Animal Welfare Authority is responsible for making sure animal owners follow the rules, and appoints welfare inspectors and officers to ensure that animals are treated humanely, prevent cruelty to animals and promote community awareness about the welfare of animals," she said.
"All animals in the Northern Territory are entitled to a minimum level of care that provides for their welfare, health and safety.
"If you are in charge of any animal - wild, farmed or a family pet - under NT law you must make sure that all needs for its care and handling are met."
RSPCA Darwin was aware of the situation on Monday night. The organisation responded to the post said the horses needed to be given urgent attention and professional care.
"Unfortunately RSPCA Darwin has no inspectorate or seizure powers in NT and therefore are unable to access the horses, seize them or prosecute those responsible," it read.
"These powers reside with the NT Government Animal Welfare Branch and RSPCA Darwin will continue to be in contact with them to assist where able.
"The Chair of RSPCA Darwin has called the CEO of the Department of Primary Industries (which Animal Welfare falls under) to raise this issue and find out what is being done to address this. We will continue to follow up to ensure these animals get the attention they need."
RSPCA Darwin interim general manager Peter King said he was discussing what could be done with RSPCA Darwin director Danny Moore.