WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Melbourne woman Christine Weisheit in court over animal cruelty

‘Inconceivable’ animal cruelty aired in court as woman accused of starving at least 11 horses on her remote property

  • A woman has been charged with 60 animal cruelty offenses by the RSCPA
  • Christine Weisheit had horses on her property in Ararat in Victoria
  • The Melbourne Magistrate’s Court heard that most of them had been ill-treated

Multiple horses seized from a property in the Victoria region were suffering from painful hoof conditions that went untreated for a long time.

Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday showed photos of emaciated horses, with their rib cages visible, that were among those taken from Christine Weisheit’s estate near Ararat, two hours west of Melbourne, in 2016.

Ms. Weisheit has pleaded not guilty to more than 60 animal cruelty charges, filed by the RSPCA, for allegedly mistreating horses.

She is accused of starving the animals and keeping them inside contaminated paddocks.

A woman who kept horses in Ararat, Victoria, has been accused of starving them (file image)

A woman who kept horses in Ararat, Victoria, has been accused of starving them (file image)

The court heard that 11 horses were among those taken to Golden Plains Equine hospital, where lead vet Simon Pearce determined that most of them had not been given enough food.

Some had a body condition score as low as zero out of five, and one in particular had a chronic, painful hoof condition, which meant he walked on his heels.

Dr. Pearce said that horses’ hooves normally grew at a rate of one centimeter per month if they were well fed, but in this case, the growth of the horse’s 25cm hooves would have taken at least 50 months.

“I don’t remember seeing one (of these conditions) that bad in my clinical experience,” said Dr. Pearce.

The horse was also emaciated and an evaluation showed that it was recently lactating, but had no foal.

“It makes me wonder what happened to the colt,” Dr. Pearce said.

One of the horses suffered an “extremely painful event” called laminitis, whereby its foot bone, the lowest bone within a horse’s leg, had pulled away from the hoof wall.

Dr. Pearce said that horses with the condition required much more frequent care by a farrier, and that it was the owner’s responsibility to minimize their pain.

Another horse appeared to have sore hooves, and veterinary staff noticed an odor reminiscent of thrush, an infection that normally occurs when horses’ hooves are not cleaned regularly.

Christine Weisheit is facing Melbourne Magistrates Court (pictured) on charges of animal cruelty

Christine Weisheit is facing Melbourne Magistrates Court (pictured) on charges of animal cruelty

Dr. Pearce’s practice was successful in resolving the horse’s pain and he discovered that another horse, named ‘Squeak’, was in need of urgent dental care, as he had significant difficulty eating.

The vet said the horse’s mouth squeaked when it ate, and its sharp points of enamel and expired teeth showed it hadn’t received dental care.

He said it was “inconceivable” for him that a horse owner would not notice that his animal could not eat properly for a long time.

“This horse could have performed poorly even on reasonable nutrition given how poor the mouth was,” Dr. Pearce said.

The hearing continues.

Commercial

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More