7 February 2024

'Not looked after': 18 horses in safe hands after rehoming in joint welfare operation

| Claire Sams
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Three brown-and-white horses in a field

Almost 20 horses are being rehomed after being found in poor condition south-west of Bega. Photos: Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.

NSW agencies and animal welfare organisations have teamed up to rehome at-risk horses on the NSW South Coast.

NSW Crown Lands, Local Land Services, the Department of Primary Industries and RSPCA NSW came together in an operation to remove the animals from Candelo Common – about 20 kilometres south-west of Bega – after they had allegedly been illegally placed on land without the proper care.

Crown Lands undertook inquiries and attempted to find the owner of the horses, but they could not be located so efforts were then made to rehome the animals.

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As a result, 18 horses are being safely rehomed through charity organisation Horse Welfare Incorporated, which supports the rehabilitation and rehousing of horses across the Southern Tablelands, Snowy Monaro, Hunter Valley, and Mid North Coast regions.

Horse Welfare Incorporated president Jo Briggs said many of the horses were mares in foal, meaning the rescue also helped the next generation.

“We help rescue horse surrenders, horses taken by agencies due to welfare issues, and horses that have been abandoned, so that they can be rehabilitated and then safely rehomed,” she said.

“Our commitment to the horse is to ensure they are well cared for and maintained for the rest of their days.”

A brown horse eating

The rescued horses are now enjoying some tender loving care.

NSW Crown Lands coordinated the rescue operation with Local Land Services, providing temporary stockyards to herd the horses, as well as veterinarian support with the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

RSPCA NSW monitored the operation and the horses’ welfare.

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NSW Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper said it was a well-coordinated joint operation that went smoothly.

“This is a great outcome as these horses were not looked after and many were in poor condition and facing a hot summer with drying pasture conditions,” he said.

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