The horrific discovery of 41 dead horses, killed as a result of multiple gunshots, has shocked a rural Queensland community, with police announcing they have now charged a 49-year-old man over the distressing incident.
The Longreach Major and Organised Crime Squad Rural (MOCS Rural) began an investigation following the discovery of the dead horses earlier this month and announced on Thursday that a Mount Isa man had been arrested and charged over the suspicious deaths.
He was refused bail and faced Mount Isa Magistrates Court on Friday charged with one count of injuring animals, a charge which has a maximum penalty of up to seven years’ jail.
The horses, which were allegedly discovered on a Cramsie Muttaburra Road property near Longreach between August 3 and 4, were labelled by police as livestock as opposed to wild horses and included geldings, colts, pregnant mares, and mares with foals at foot.
MOCS Rural Longreach OIC Detective Sergeant Allan Cook told ABC News that the horses died from multiple gunshot wounds in a brazen shooting along the side of a major road. The horses were discovered by a neighbour and it’s understood the owner of the property was not home at the time of the incident.
“Absolutely horrendous,” Detective Sergeant Cook said. “I’ve been a police officer for 30-plus years and the scene was chaotic, it was horrendous.
“You’ve got stallions, colts, pregnant mares, aborted foals, they’ve shot the foals at the foot, it’s horrific.”
Cook said incidents of this nature can have a devastating impact on rural communities.
Police have asked who spotted suspicious activity in the area around the time of the shootings to come forward to help with the investigation.