A heavily pregnant woman has said it was her daughter’s responsibility to feed the family horse that was seized by the RSPCA in an emaciated condition.
A heavily pregnant woman has said it was her daughter’s responsibility to feed the family horse that was seized by the RSPCA in an emaciated condition.

Qld mum blames her kid for not feeding starved horse

A heavily pregnant Lockyer Valley woman has said it was her daughter's responsibility to feed the family horse that was seized by the RSPCA in an emaciated and starved condition.

The RSPCA seized Murphy, the thoroughbred-cross horse from Cassie Bell early last year and charged the Lockrose woman with three breaches of duty of care to an animal.

Bell was co-accused with her former partner Beau Kearney for neglecting Murphy, failing to provide appropriate food and water.

RSPCA prosecutor Shauna Smith said when the RSPCA seized Murphy, he drank for 11 continuous minutes, indicating he was dehydrated.

Ms Smith told the Gatton Magistrates Court on February 1, that Bell entered a plea of guilty via written submission, but there were discrepancies in her submission.

The court heard a document submitted to the magistrate showed Murphy in an emaciated state.

Ms Smith said that Bell stated her oldest child had fed Murphy, but there was no evidence of food on the property.

"She had no physical food to provide Murphy," Ms Smith said.

"When he was offered water, he did drink for 11 continuous minutes, which does indicate he was very thirsty."

The court heard Bell's offence was from December 9, 2019, to January 4, 2020, and that Bell had the opportunity to "give away" Murphy but declined.

Ms Smith said when Murphy was surrendered, he was placed on diet of commercially available equine food and put on 30 kilograms in five weeks.

"This does indicate there were no underlying health issues," Ms Smith said.

Magistrate Damien Carroll said Bell's pregnancy may have affected her ability to care for the horse, but it was not "excusable".

"The photographs of the horse on pages 10 and 11 in the statement of facts show a severely emaciated horse," Mr Carroll said.

Bell, who didn't attend court due to her six children, pleaded guilty via written submission.

She agreed to the RSPCA's terms of prohibition that she would not be allowed to own a horse for three years.

Mr Carroll fined $1000, with 50 per cent of the fine sent to RSPCA.

She was charged $109.60 for vet costs, $250 for court fees and $109.60 for filing fees, with all fines referred to SPER.

A conviction was not recorded.


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