Unacceptable animal cruelty continues in the Hunter

News of an attack on a Hunter horse is a worrying sign that the region’s problem with animal cruelty incidents doesn’t seem to be turning around.

Chris and Kylie Barker with Willow after the attack.

Chris and Kylie Barker with Willow after the attack.

Owners of show horse Willow returned to their Mount View Road property on Tuesday to find that someone had hacked off most of the creature’s tail.

The attackers made the chop only a few centimetres from Willows dock – dangerously close to her body.

If that had been cut, there’s a good chance the horse would have bled to death.

But what made this attack even more frightening for the Barker family, who own Willow, was that the attackers were brazen enough to do the damage in broad daylight.

Cuts on the back of Willow’s legs indicate that the tail was hacked at with a knife, not snipped with a pair of scissors, which suggests the incident would have been violent.

Chris Barker (pictured) was understandably appalled and disgusted at the attack.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

“It has to have been a knife – it can’t have been a pair of scissors.”

Mr Barker was at a loss when he spoke to Fairfax Media as to why someone would put a defenseless animal in danger. That’s a question people across the region have been given cause to ask far too often recently.

This is just another incident in what’s turning into a long and ugly saga in the Hunter.

It comes on the back of an horrific acid attack that injured a dog in the back yard of a Kurri Kurri home last month, which shocked the Hunter community.

The region has also been in the spotlight in the past two years for gut-wrenching acts of animal cruelty including the bludgeoning death of nine puppies in Kurri Kurri and the kicking death of a chihuahua at Cessnock.

If people are committing brazen and violent acts against defenseless creatures, it suggests that they either don’t see anything wrong with their behaviour or they think they will get away with it. 

There’s no doubt that the incident involving Willow was animal cruelty – she could have easily been killed.

As a community, we need to make it clear to those who would hurt animals that it’s not acceptable and report incidents of animal cruelty to the RSPCA and police. If you have information about the attack, or another act of animal cruelty, you can make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


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