Equine ban for man after two horses left to starve in field

A man has been banned from keeping equines for five years after neglecting two horses, in a case brought by the RSPCA.

Pail Simpson of Maple Avenue, Alsager appeared at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on Wednesday 7 November to be sentenced for three animal Welfare Act offences, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that the RSPCA was contacted by a concerned member of the public after a horse was found lying on the ground in a field off Mere Lake Road, Talke Pits, Stoke-on-Trent.

When RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin attended, she found two horses – a boy mare and grey mare – skinny and lame, covered in lice and with no food or water. The ground was also boggy with no grazing.

Inspector Melvin, said: “Both horses had rugs on hem but I could see every bone sticking out. I attended with World Horse Welfare, a vet and the police and we were all immediately concerned. Both horses had a really depressed demeanour and were just not standing there not moving.

“The vet had a look at them and made the decision that they were suffering and needed immediate veterinary attention. They both had low body scores, with one being given a body score of 0.5 out of a scale of five and the other being given a score of one.

“The bay mare, Polly, also had a swollen knee from an untreated injury, and the grey mare, Biscuit, had a massive bone abscess on one of her front hooves which would have been incredibly painful for her and was the reason why she was so lame.”

Biscuit was also found to have pus coming out of every hoof and was so poorly that the vet made the sad decision to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering. Polly is still being cared for by World Horse Welfare.

World Horse Welfare field officer, Rachel Andrews, said: “These horses were not coping with the environment they were being kept in and it highlights the importance of ensuring you have the time, facilities and finance to give you animal the care it requires and deserves. I’m pleased that Polly has improved massively in condition and temperament now that she’s in our care.”

As well as the five-year disqualification order, Simpson was also given a 10-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months, a two-week curfew and was ordered to pay £250 csts and a £115 victim surcharge.

The court heard that Simpson attended regularly and that two other horses in the field were in good body condition.