The RSPCA is treating 17 starving horses seized from a property on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula this week.
The horses were in a very poor condition when a member of the public raised the alarm and contacted the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspector Kerrie Gregory said the animals were visibly malnourished.
“As you can see from the horses, there are ribs showing, [they have] prominent hips which does put their welfare at risk,” she said.
“The horses are under a veterinary refeed plan which does need to be closely monitored to ensure the horses don’t contract colic and other conditions associated with a change in their diet.
“Sadly that may mean they all do not survive.”
The animals are being cared for at a property run by the RSPCA.
Ms Gregory would not reveal any details about the owner or the property they were found at because the investigation is ongoing.
She said their condition was surprising considering how good the pastures were at the moment and the low price of feed.
“It is an owner’s responsibility to ensure that they do have appropriate feed to sustain them,” she said.
“You need to be realistic about the number of horses you have and ensure you’re assessing whether you can maintain that number.”