Horses shot dead in for­est

The Bay Chronicle - - MOTORING - BAYLEY MOOR

Il­le­gal shoot­ings of horses in a Far North for­est are leav­ing or­phaned foals - with the SPCA urg­ing the public to come for­ward with more in­for­ma­tion.

Kaitaia horse stud owner Sally Hunter is car­ing for ‘Aupouri Diamond’ a foal, who at just a few hours old was found in the Aupouri For­est after its mother and an­other horse had been shot over Labour Week­end.

Later that week an­other moth­er­less foal was found and is now be­ing cared for as well.

Aupouri For­est, also known as Te Hiku For­est, is man­aged by Sum­mit Forests New Zealand, who al­low hunters with per­mits to en­ter the area with guns dur­ing the pheas­ant hunt­ing sea­son.

Oth­er­wise no ri­fles are al­lowed in the for­est which con­sists of more than 17000 hectares and runs from 90 Mile Beach to Te Ha­pua.

Aupouri Diamond was found near the Hukatere Junc­tion, around 40km north of Kaitaia, and has been fos­tered by Hunter’s horse Brandee, who sadly de­liv­ered a still­born foal.

‘‘It’s cruel to leave foals to die...I think they should be pro­tected,’’ Hunter says. She es­ti­mates there to be thou­sands of wild horses in the for­est.

The SPCA pro­vided milk pow­der for Hunter to feed Aupouri Diamond, un­til she was taken on by Brandee.

The in­ci­dent was re­ported to the po­lice and the SPCA.

Se­nior SPCA in­spec­tor Tracee Knowler says leav­ing such a young foal or­phaned would likely be an of­fence un­der the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act.

‘‘At this time we have not been suc­cess­ful in de­ter­min­ing who was re­spon­si­ble for the in­ci­dent and no wit­nesses have come for­ward,’’ Knowler says.

‘‘For­tu­nately the or­phaned foal is do­ing well and is be­ing cared for by a very gen­er­ous foster fam­ily.’’

Sum­mit Forestry spokes­woman Karen Lu­cich says ri­fles in the for­est is also dan­ger­ous for oth­ers given it has a high recre­ational us­age in­clud­ing horse rid­ing, moun­tain bik­ers, run­ners, bee­keep­ers and other mem­bers of the public.

‘‘Te Hiku For­est is a spe­cial en­vi­ron­ment, a place of work as well as a great play­ground for many, it needs to be re­spected. This shame­ful be­hav­iour will not be tol­er­ated.’’

Con­tact Se­nior SPCA In­spec­tor Tracee Knowler on 021 268 6920.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.