13 August, 2021
Mount Isa man charged in horse shooting case
Police have arrested a 49-year-old man as part of an investigation into the shooting of 41 horses on a property near Longreach.
UPDATE - Friday August 13:
Detectives have arrested and charged a 49-year-old Mount Isa man as part of an investigation into the shooting deaths of 41 horses on a property north of Longreach last week.
According to Queensland Police, the shootings occurred between Tuesday, August 3 and Wednesday, August 4.
The suspect has been refused bail and will face the Mount Isa Magistrates Court today charged with one count of injuring animals.
The investigation into the slaying remains ongoing, with police urging anyone with relevant information to contact PoliceLink on 131 444 or by visiting www.police.qld.gov.au/reporting.Alternatively, anyone with information can contact crime-stopper anonymously on 1800 333 000.
In an emergency, call 000.
INVESTIGATIONS into the massacre of 41 horses on a Longreach property continues, as local police urge anyone with information to come forward.
Over last Tuesday and Wednesday, 41 horses were shot on a property 60km north of Longreach on Cramsie-Muttaburra Rd.
Longreach Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad Detective Sergeant Allan Cook said there was generally a culture in the bush of “not blabbing or dobbing”.
“But this is such a horrendous act, and it’s an act that has caused significant reputational harm for us out [in the Longreach/Central West community] here that people need to report what they’ve heard,” he said.
“There is an opportunity to report anonymously via Crime Stoppers and I would suggest that people need to take that opportunity if they’ve heard anything.
“Because they don’t want to condone this action by their silence.”
The investigation began when a person travelling along the road discovered the remains at the front of the paddock then reported the incident to the local police.
Det Cook said they had originally discovered 36 of the animals who had suffered fatal gunshot wounds.
“Most of those wounds would not have instantly [killed the animal],” he said.
“They [the horses] would have died within an hour because they were shot so many times.”
Det Cook echoed the sentiments of RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty who said in all his time he had never seen anything on this scale before.
“I’ve certainly never seen anything on this scale before,” he said.
“When you have a Brumby cull - yes - but this wasn’t a cull.”
The horses were station horses - not the Brumbies as rumoured - and were a source of income for the station owner Jim Fegan who bred and sold horses.
Det Cook said they were investigating several motives currently.
“We need to let the community know that the investigation is being progressed as a priority,” he said.
The joint investigation has involved forensic officers, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and council rangers.
The RSPCA does not have an inspector in the region.
Police are urging anybody with information to contact them at the Longreach Police Station — 07 4652 5200 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
*Previously published as "Investigations continue into death of 41 horses" in Friday, August 13 edition of the Longreach Leader.