Sixteen horses that died mysteriously on the Spirit of Tasmania were taken to Wagga for autopsy, it has been confirmed.
The horses, from Willo Polo Club in Richmond, NSW, were in north-eastern Tasmania for the Barnbougle Polo tournament on January 20.
Following the event, the horses were transported to Victoria on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, arriving in Melbourne on January 29, an Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokesperson said.
While ASMA and Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment are investigating the incident, it is not known if the horses died on the ferry or after they disembarked.
The Daily Advertiser understands Australia polo player and instructor Andrew Williams immediately drove the 16 dead horses to Charles Sturt University’s Wagga campus, where the animals were received and necropsies were conducted.
Mr Williams told another media outlet he had personally transferred the horses to Wagga on January 29.
Mr Williams has been contacted for comment and Charles Sturt University has declined to provide comment at this time.
Investigations are underway after 16 horses died on their return journey to Sydney from Barnbougle Polo tournament in Tasmania last month.
"While investigations are continuing, at this point AMSA is satisfied that the vessel appears to have complied with AMSA requirements relating to the carriage of livestock,” a spokesperson said.
"It would be inappropriate to comment further while the investigation is under way."
A DPIPWE spokeswoman said Tasmania is being assisted by other jurisdictions, including chief veterinary officers in Victoria and NSW.
"As per standard practice, no further details will be released as this is an ongoing investigation," the spokeswoman said.
A representative from the Willo Polo Club declined to detail the incident, but told the ABC the investigation was "in the hands of authorities" and they were "hoping to find out what happened".
Representatives from the Spirit of Tasmania declined to comment.
The dates the horses were transported coincide with a heatwave that swept through both Tasmania and Victoria.
Tasmania experienced record warm nights at the end of January, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and a heatwave that peaked on the January 28 with temperatures in the high 30s in parts of the state.
Melbourne's daytime and overnight temperatures in January were also warmer than average.
According to the Spirit of Tasmania's conditions of carriage, animal transport vehicles must be fit for purpose and passengers aren't allowed to access the vehicle decks while the vessel is at sea, unless a veterinary certificate is provided.
The story CSU silent on 16 horse carcasses as investigations continue first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.