Calls for tougher animal protection laws after horrific neglect of emaciated horses

The Greens are calling for stronger laws to protect animals following the discovery of three emaciated thoroughbred horses at a property in Tasmania’s south.

The horses, which were once owned by former Attorney General Vanessa Goodwin, were rescued by Brightside Farm Sanctuary on Thursday.

In a video posted on social media, Brightside owner Emma Haswell said the “severely malnourished and starving” horses were “terribly, terribly neglected”.

One of the horses, Kim, had to be euthanised due to her condition.

Kim the Horse had to be euthanised due to her condition. Image / Brightside

“She had blood coming out of her nose when I found her and she walked in slow motion towards me past bones scattered all around her. She and her two friends suffered terrible neglect,” Haswell said.

“I have rescued so many horses like Kim and I have never had one die or have to be put down after rescuing them.”

Vica Bayley. Image / Pulse

Greens candidate and animal welfare spokesperson Vice Bayley stressed the need for the next state government to take harsher action against offenders.

“We need stronger penalties. We need stronger protections for animals, we need to recognise that they are sentient beings, and we need to make sure that our laws protect them,” he said.

“This is in line with what animal rights organisations are demanding, such as the RSPCA.”

RSPCA Tasmania CEO Jan Davis said the state had its priorities “all wrong”.

“We should all be ashamed of the appalling state of animal welfare protection in Tas,” she wrote on Twitter/X.

“RSPCA has to sell cupcakes & run raffles to fund the Animal Cruelty Inspectorate – a legal enforcement agency – while [the state government] pledges $12 million for a chocolate fountain.”

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