NSW Health evicts Yaralla Estate community horses


The community horses that have called the paddocks of Yaralla Estate in Concord home have today been evicted by NSW Health – including a 24 year old horse in poor health called Seamus.

Today’s evictions come amid threats of legal action if the horses are not removed and despite the pleas of local horse owners for a stay of execution – which have been dismissed by NSW Health and ignored by the Health Minister. 

Local horse owners have raised concerns over the welfare of the horses during transit from the paddocks they currently call home – with the potential for horses to experience ongoing issues from “trauma” they may suffer during the eviction.

Shadow Planning Minister Luke Foley said the plight of 24 year old horse evictee Seamus – who has called Yaralla his home for 20 years and has been unable to secure an agistment facility where the necessary care is able to be administered – is a prime example of the disgraceful treatment the horses and their owners have received during this whole scandal.

“Health Minister Skinner has ignored the pleas of local horse owners and the community – and her treatment of these horses has amounted to borderline cruelty to animals,” Mr Foley said.

“The Minister is fully responsible for the welfare of these horses during the eviction and must be held to account for any damage done as a result of their expulsion from their paddocks.

“This is an equine scandal of far greater substance than the More Joyous affair.

“It is a scandal that the community and local horse owners are being forced off a public estate because of a secret deal by the O’Farrell Government.”

This scandal developed following a secret deal signed between the Sydney Local Health District and NSW Police to move the mounted police horses to the Yaralla Estate on the Parramatta River at Concord – at the expense of local community horses.

The Labor Opposition has previously revealed a Liberal Party donor wrote the ‘independent’ audit to force the horses off the estate. The NSW Parliament has also ordered the O’Farrell Government to produce all documents relating to the eviction.

“I am determined to get to the bottom of the absolutely scandalous treatment of local community members and their horses,” Mr Foley said.

“The Minister has allowed her bureaucrats to evict these horses. I will now move for further action when the Parliament resumes in a fortnight to force a parliamentary inquiry by way of a select committee into this scandal.

“The Minister is on notice – she may have ignored the local community, but I can assure her that the Opposition will not let this matter die.”