A Shetland court has deferred sentence on a crofter who admitted three charges of cruelty to Shetland ponies.

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) and police visited a field used by Tommy Jamieson, 43, of Walls, in February after reports of a dead pony lying there as well as seven other malnourished ponies.

Jamieson was told he must feed the ponies properly or they would die.

A few weeks later, the SSPCA was called about another pony which had been collected from Jamieson. The mare was emaciated, infested with lice and could not stand.

The pony, Judith, who is now on permanent loan, has recovered with specialist nursing care.

Tommy Allen, defending, said Jamieson’s family had been looking after Shetland ponies for three generations and pleaded for him to be allowed to keep the remaining five ponies.
He said the crofter had lost his job because of the court case.

Sheriff Graeme Napier will sentence Jamieson on Wednesday, 7 November.

A second crofter, Colin Robertson, 47, also of Walls, has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, after admitting seven charges of cruelty to sheep and cattle.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (18 October, ’07)