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Suspected animal neglect is under investigation in Williamson County

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Neighbors around a Marion farm in Williamson County have complained repeatedly to officials that horses on the property are neglected and dead horse carcasses are left to rot and litter. As of Dec. 20, local media and WSIL-TV have become aware of this unacceptable situation and things may be looking better for the remaining horses.

WSIL spoke with neighbors and went to the farm as well as SIU equine program director Dr. Erin Beth Venable. The horses are foraging on hay and it is possible to see five horses eating and drinking from Mustang Street. According to neighbors, however, this has not been the case. Friday was the first time in months that the horses were fed.

Officials are starting an investigation to check into the welfare of the horses. Williamson County Animal Control visited and a Department of Agriculture inspector was called in on consultation.

On Friday the inspector put out two violations – one is for a lack of food and water and a second for improper disposal of dead bodies [carcasses must be removed within 24 hours after death].

One of the horses died just a few days ago and another has been dead for weeks. Those dead carcasses present a health hazard to the other horses and water.

Another check by the inspector is due this weekend. The owner must provide readily available food and fresh water. The dead horses must have been buried.

A Williamson County attorney has review of this case.

The owners remain unidentified and have not spoken publicly.

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