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Horse owner 'didn't like vets', admits leaving foal to die

AN IPSWICH woman charged with horrific animal cruelty of a young foal claimed she didn't take it to the vet for treatment because she "didn't like vets".

The eight-month-old chestnut filly, described as having a white blaze down her face and a white stocking, was left for four days days to die of festering injuries and extreme dehydration in a paddock at Haigslea before a neighbour alerted authorities.

The horse's injuries were so bad, she was unable to stand up or move her limbs and she was unable to see out one eye. Some of the injuries were at least a week old.

A vet decided the only option for the horse was to euthanise her. Tracy Marie Deren, 44, pleaded guilty in Ipswich a Magistrates Court this morning to one count of breach of duty of care to an animal.

Her partner, Peter Vincent Bullion, was cleared in court this morning of five similar charges against him.

Deren was ordered to pay $4192.90, more than half of which was to be paid to the RSPCA.

Tracy Marie Deren, 44, pleaded guilty to breach of duty of care to an animal.
Tracy Marie Deren, 44, pleaded guilty to breach of duty of care to an animal. RSPCA

Council instructed by the RSPCA Chris Minnery said Deren had grossly failed to provide treatment for the horse.

"She failed entirely to take care of the animal," he said.

"The horse suffered for four days and the suffering was so bad it had to be euthanised."

The court heard the horse had been weaned from her mother and taken away from the property a few weeks before a neighbour saw Deren unloading the horse from a float, dragging her in a blue tarp.

The filly did not stand up again.

The same witness told authorities Deren and Mr Bullion were trying to get the horse to stand up the next day, pulling her tale, grabbing her around the neck and using a blanket under her belly.

The neighbour called RSPCA a few days later after she saw the horse thrashing about in the paddock, as 'though she was in pain and distressed'.

Defence lawyer Stephen Kissick said Deren admitted she failed to provide adequate care for the animal despite putting lime on the foal's wounds in an attempt to dry them out.

"Lime is a method to treat open and oozing saws because of its drying capacity," he said.

"There is nothing callous about this conduct."

Tracy Marie Deren
Tracy Marie Deren Emma Clarke

Magistrate Louisa Pink ordered Deren was not allowed to own another horse except for at the approval of the RSPCA and not including the four she already owned.

Deren was fined $3000 and order to pay $1100 legal fees and $92.90 court fees.

Ms Pink did not record a conviction, due to the Deren's career in the Commonwealth public service.

Death could have been avoided: RSPCA

THE slow and painful decline into ill health a small foal suffered at the hands of her owner could have been avoided.

The eight-month-old horse was euthanased last year after it lay, unable to move, in a paddock for four days. Tracy Marie Deren, 44, admitted to her role in the foal's death.

RSPCA prosecutions officer Tracey Jackson said the foal's death could have been avoided if action was taken sooner.

"Quite often we see people come before the courts and they are in unfortunate circumstance. They do what we describe as their incompetent best. I don't think this is one of those cases, it could have so easily been resolved," she said. "It was a callous disregard for the foal and the foal's welfare and the pain and suffering it would be been in, every minute for four days that foal was laying there. It would have been nice to see it resolved earlier.

"This business of using home remedies and tyring to self-treat your animals is not ok."

Tracy Marie Deren, 44, pleaded guilty to breach of duty of care to an animal.
Tracy Marie Deren, 44, pleaded guilty to breach of duty of care to an animal. RSPCA

Topics:  ipswich ipswich court ipswich crime


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