Horse massacre needs ‘thorough investigation’
THE shooting of 30 stock horses valued at around half-a-million dollars is further evidence of the need for the establishment of a live stock squad in the Northern Territory according to NT Cattleman's Association boss Ashley Manicaros.
Thirty of Killarney Station's best horses, valued at about $500,000, were reportedly shot by members of a sporting shooters' association on Sunday.
NT Police confirmed the Northern Investigations Section was investigating the incident.
Killarney Station manager Jamie Laurisson said the station's families and employees had been left rattled and dumbfounded.
"It was a mind-numbingly stupid, careless and reckless act," he said.
Mr Manicaros said there needed to be a thorough investigation into the incident to ascertain exactly what happened.
"It's an opportunity where we need a specialist unit like a live stock squad to carry out that investigation," Mr Manicaros said.
"That doesn't necessarily mean they are police officers, but we certainly don't have that type of agency in the NT as it stands today, and the potential to establish some sort of stock squad and live stock squad would drastically assist the industry.
"This is something the NTCA in particular has been pursuing for many years."
Mr Manicaros said such a squad could get to the bottom of the incident and ensure no relationships between hunters and pastoralists, which remained an important connection, were inadvertently damaged.
"Generally, pastoralists have very, very good relationships with hunters and work closely with them on the property, in allowing them onto the property to actually hunt, so we just need to ensure that is maintained," he said.
"No one wants to see animals treated this way and pastoralists especially don't want to see them treated this way or can afford to have them treated this way.
"We will make contact with Killarney and members of the NTCA, we'll offer whatever assistance we can."
Originally published as Horse massacre needs 'thorough investigation'