Charity gets use of key facility to help bushfire horses
February 13, 2009
An Australian horse welfare group has been given full use of Bendigo Showgrounds to help horses in trouble following Victoria's bushfires.
Triple R Equine Welfare (TREW) said it had received received confirmation from the executive management of Racing Victoria that it could have full use of the Bendigo Showgrounds to establish its headquarters.
Within 24 hours the showgrounds will be the primary hub for equine relief, the group said.
"This is a major breakthrough and a big step toward our ultimate goal of preventing any unnecessary losses of horses during this terrible tragedy," a TREW spokesperson said.
Facilities include 230 stables, flood-lit areas, water and, importantly, secure storage sheds for feed and the housing of the donated goods that are pouring in from all over the country.
"We have a vet committed to being on site 24/7, who is geared up and ready to treat injured animals."
The immediate threat to horses left stranded in burnt properties is damage to hooves. Prolonged exposure to hot ground can cause a low-grade overheating, that develops into heat-induced laminitis.
The prognosis for horses suffering this condition is extremely poor.
"It is imperative the we move swiftly to relocate horses off burnt properties. Food and water intake is critical at this point to ensure that these horses, who have survived the fire, do not fall victim to dehydration or colic.
"We are liaising with the Department of Priminary Industries and other organisations to facilitate this process, but for now, in most areas, no traffic is allowed into the worst-affected areas.
"The scale of the Victorian Fire disaster is unprecedented, and we won't pretend to have all the answers.
"We are simply doing everything we can, working around the clock with individuals and organisations, to provide direct assistance to horses in need."
TREW, a self-funded, volunteer-run, not-for-profit incorporated association, says all funds received during the relief effort will go directly towards assisting equines impacted by the fires, whether in the purchase of feed, vet supplies or transport out of stricken areas.
More information: www.triplerequinewelfare.org