Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18999
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Friday, Dec 16, 2011


Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Name Undisclosed

Police have issued a media release stating that they have suspect. The suspect is "facing 25 counts of committing an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal," according to a press release issued by the police.

An unsettling, and strange, discovery was recently made in New South Wales, Australia.[map] A tip-off last Saturday afternoon led police to a truck parking bay three kilometres south of Old Ben Lomond Road near Glen Innes. Officers followed tracks to a nearby cliff, where they spotted the bodies of 25 ponies of various colours and ages.

There also were no brands, tags or identifying marks that could lead police to the owner, according to an article at AFP.

Some of the animals were in early stages of decomposition. Those that weren't in the stages of decomposition were able to be examined - and showed no obvious signs of wounds of any kind.

Officials are saying that all of the twenty five ponies had died of mysterious circumstances. "We're keeping a very open mind because we have very little to go on," Inspector Rod Shoesmith, of Armidale police station, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"They were found dumped over the side of a parking bay, down a steep cliff," Inspector Shoesmith explained. "I've never seen anything of this magnitude. It was a disturbing scene."

What makes it more bizarre is something mentioned by a resident living in the area, from the SMH article:

Gary Tarrant, who lives on Old Ben Lomond Road, was baffled by the crime. "No one around here would have 25 horses," he said. "We've got a couple. Most people have a couple."

Not only does no one person own that many horses, but the article says nothing about people reporting their horses stolen. (Maybe there aren't even that many horses to steal.)

Police have posted a media release at their website. It's believed that the horses were being transported in an over-crowded trailer with poor ventilation. When the driver discovered the ponies had died, he dumped them and fled.

From that release:

A man will face court after 25 horses were found deceased near Glen Innes in Northern NSW last weekend.

Following investigations by New England Detectives, police will allege that 35 ponies were transported by a removalist truck, loaded in the Kingstown District to head to the north coast.

It will be alleged the truck had inadequate ventilation which attributed to the ponies death.

Police found 25 ponies deceased, whilst two survived the journey and have since been inspected by police in the northern part of the state.

Inquiries are continuing about the other eight outstanding ponies.

About 4pm (Thursday 22 December 2011), a 39-year-old Pottsville man was interviewed by police at his home.

He was issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice for 25 counts of committing an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal.

The man will appear in Glen Innes Local Court on Tuesday 14 February 2012.

References

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