A woman prosecuted for cruelty to animals for a third time has been given a six-year ban from keeping horses and dogs.
Over 30 miniature horses were discovered on a site in Suffolk – many of which were standing in up to two feet of faeces. Most were underweight and had badly overgrown feet, dental problems, worm burdens and eye infections.
Stallions and mares were kept next to each other, with only a small fence between them, causing stress and fighting amongst the herd.
There was also 20 dogs, kept in small cages without fresh water or food who were described as ‘depressed’ by a vet.
“Ponies are simply not designed to live in such close confinement and a plot of five to six acres is nowhere near sufficient to sustain upwards of 30 ponies, regardless of their size,” said World Horse Welfare field officer Jacko Jackson, who attended the rescue.
A number of charities offered to help owner Marilyn Read but she refused to admit she was unable to cope with the numbers of animals.
“No one person could possibly look after more than 70 animals (horses and dogs) and ensure they all received the appropriate levels of care, something which was clearly demonstrated in the numerous health problems suffered by both the horses and dogs on Ms Read’s property,” said Jacko.
Read was convicted of 29 offences under Section 4 and Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act and has been given a six-year ban from keeping horses and dogs, with a three month suspension to enable her to rehome the animals currently in her care. She was also ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.
This prosecution is Ms Read’s third under the Animal Welfare Act having been previously convicted in 2007 and 2004 respectively.
“We are pleased that this case has now come to a resolution but at the same time disappointed that the sentencing was not stronger given this was Ms Read’s third conviction,” said Jacko.
The ponies are now in the care of the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare where they are undergoing rehabilitation with a view to rehoming them in the future.