Foal drowned, man charged with serious animal cruelty

BREAKING: A Sunshine Coast man has been charged with allegedly drowning a four-month-old thoroughbred foal.

An extensive animal cruelty investigation conducted by the Queensland Racing Crime Squad, State Crime Command and the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and Integrity Regulatory Unit Stewards, led to the 56-year-old Yandina man being charged with serious animal cruelty, breach of duty of care and wilful damages.

Serious animal cruelty carries a maximum penalty of seven years jail.

The Yandina man is scheduled to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on February 22.

QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett said the public did not expect animal cruelty of this nature from the racing industry, and that the QRIC would continue to work with police to hold industry participants to account for unacceptable animal cruelty.

"The welfare of racing animals is of the utmost importance and those who perform acts of cruelty to animals are on notice," he said

State Crime Command Serious Crime Group Acting Superintendent Lance Vercoe said the results of this investigation showed what could be achieved by the multi-agency approach.

"This joint agency investigation, whilst tragic, demonstrates the excellent working relationship which has been established between the QPS and the QRIC," he said.

Since its inception on July 1, 2016 the QRCS has been co-located with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner at Albion and is tasked with investigating serious animal cruelty, major and organised crime across all three codes of racing.

Anyone who witnesses animal cruelty is urged to report it to police through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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