A British woman faces prosecution in Spain following the death of 16 horses. Another 36 are in a critical condition.
Suzanne Jenkins, who is also being prosecuted by the RSPCA, for cruelty to horses in the UK, faces court in the town of Medina Sidonia.
Ms Jenkins was reported by local animal welfare group Colectivo Andaluz Contra El Maltrato Animal y Medio Ambiental (CACMA), which is working with the Guardia Civil (Spanish federal police).
CACMA’s Antonio Moreno said the horses are starving and are in a terrible condition.
CACMA is trying to save them, but if they are removed, under local law, the horses cannot be rehomed and will be destroyed.
Ms Jenkins, formerly of Kilcot in Gloucestershire, is to appear at Coleford Magistrates Court on 13 October to face eight cruelty and neglect charges concerning 15 horses.
World Horse Welfare gave her guidance on how to keep horses after a member of the public reported her in 2006.
A spokesman for World Horse Welfare said: “She obviously ignored our advice.”
The majority of the horses in Spain are Trakehners, worth up to £12,000 each, some of whom were purchased from Marleen Smith’s Singing Stud in Herefordshire. They include mares, foals and a stallion.
David Clark, chairman of the breed society, Trakehners UK, said: “I called Marleen and she almost collapsed in shock. She’s terribly upset as she recognised some of the horses in the photos [taken by CACMA].
“These horses will have cost Ms Jenkins tens of thousands of pounds. It’s extraordinary behaviour.”
H&H managed to contact Ms Jenkins in Spain.
She said: “The Guardia Civil have been very helpful. But I’d rather not comment as I’ve got too much going on.”
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (21 August, ’08)