Ferry Operator Accused Of 'Cooking' 16 Ponies During Transport Found Guilty
A Spirit of Tasmania ferry The ponies died onboard a Spirit of Tasmania ferry - Media Credit: Michael Holloway / Alamy Stock Photo

Ferry Operator Accused Of ‘Cooking’ 16 Ponies During Transport Found Guilty

TT-line was found guilty of breaching 29 animal welfare laws

By

2 Minutes Read

Ferry operator TT-Line has been found guilty of breaching animal welfare laws after 16 polo horses died onboard one of its ferries. 

The horses were being transported aboard a Spirit of Tasmania ferry in a converted refrigeration trailer. Most were found dead on the morning of January 29, 2018. But two horses – named Scarlet and Delilah – survived. 

As reported by the Guardian, the ponies had been “competing” in a tournament in Tasmania, Australia. They were traveling from Devonport to Melbourne.

TT-Line was found guilty of breaching 29 animal welfare laws. It was ruled that the company made no effort to ensure the horses were individually stalled, or that they had adequate ventilation. 

horses in a Polo match
Adobe Stock The horses who died had had been used to play Polo

Court findings

The hearing began in August of this year. The court heard from an expert in live animal exports who inspected the trailer after the horses died. The expert reported that conditions may have caused the horses to “cook.”

“[It was] a warm evening where there was a clearly inadequately ventilated transport unit stationary for 10 hours,” said Tasmanian magistrate Leanne Topfer.

“There were too many horses in the unit and 16 horses were exposed to the risk of acute heat stress and asphyxiation and died from … respiratory failure.”

According to the magistrate, Scarlet and Delilah were towards the back of the trailer with better airflow. They were also apparently the only horses in stalls. 

Former Australian polo captain Andrew Williams was involved in the horses’ transportation. According to Topfer, TT-Line relied solely on his declaration that ventilation was adequate. 

TT-Line had pleaded not guilty to one charge of using a method of management reasonably likely to result in unreasonable and unjustifiable pain and suffering. It had also pleaded not guilty to 28 counts of failing to ensure a horse was individually stalled.

Sentencing

TT-Line is due to return to court on December 21 for sentencing.

Williams is also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to 16 counts of failing to ensure a horse was individually stalled.

He pleaded not guilty to one count of using a method of management reasonably likely to result in unreasonable and unjustifiable pain and suffering.

Millions around the world trust Plant Based News for content about navigating our changing planet & our role in it.

Our independent team of journalists and experts are committed to making an impact through a wide range of content—and you can help by supporting our work today.

heading/author

The Author

Polly Foreman

Polly is the Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. She has been vegan since 2014, and has written extensively on veganism, animal rights, and the environment.

More by Polly Foreman iconography/arrow-right

heading/comments

Leave a Comment

Plant Based News Comment Policy

In short:- If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems. Please read our Comment policy before commenting.

Comments [0]  
buttons/scroll-to-top/scroll-to-top-small-active
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x