Horses poisoned with rat bait

TWO horses have been deliberately poisoned with rat bait at a Bacchus Marsh property.

Police are investigating the incident after finding threatening notes scattered around the scene. 

It is believed the incident occurred at Leila Court Horse Agistment, in Leila Court, early Sunday. 

The discovery was made by one of the owners who went to check on their horse on the Sunday morning. The owner then alerted Louise Abey, who manages and part-owns the 6.4-hectare property.

Mrs Abey said the police were called after she found three plastic buckets which had been filled with lucerne chaff, sliced apple, sugar cubes and laced with rat poison pellets at the scene. 

She said the feeds were mixed with molasses and water and had been left for the horses to feed on.

Notes with obscene and abusive language were found with other notes with threatening messages including “Stop this rich white kid hobby”.

Mrs Abey said both horses remained in the care of the Bacchus Marsh Veterinary Centre and had undergone extensive blood testing.

She said while one of the horses was recovering, the other had been severely poisoned and no longer in a critical condition. 

“This horse has started on Vitamin K treatment, which is an antidote to rat bait and we are hoping this will take effect very soon,” Mrs Abey said. 

She said poison crippled horses in an “extremely slow and painful way” causing internal bleeding and an inability for their blood to clot which often resulted in death. 

“This is an incredibly cruel and premeditated act,” Mrs Abey said. “It has left me truly sick to my core and I am completely disturbed by it. We remain concerned for the welfare of all the horses in the region.” 

On Thursday, Mrs Abey called an urgent meeting with the owners of the horses that lived on the property.

At the meeting, she urged owners to monitor their horses and report any suspicious feed or buckets left in paddocks immediately.

Mrs Abey said the horse agistment was under 24-hour police surveillance and police were patrolling other nearby horse properties.

Victoria Police spokesman Creina O’Grady said Bacchus Marsh Crime Investigation Unit was investigating the poisoning.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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