A Norfolk man has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years and handed an 18-week prison sentence.

James Taylor, of Hay Green Travellers Site, Terrington St Clements, King’s Lynn, appaear at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on 3 December accused of offences involving horses kept on a farm in Oxborough.

Taylor pleaded guilty to three offences under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, for failing to investigate and address their poor condition and weight loss causing them unnecessary suffering and two offences under section 9 of the same Act relating to water supply, poor hooves and lice infestations.

Related articles

The offences involved four mares between January and March 2015.

He was sentenced on Wednesday (13 January).

“These horses were in poor condition when I observed them and in clear need of care,” said RSPCA inspector Chris Nice.

“They were being kept on the site amongst a large number of other horses, including some which were already dead.

“The three pregnant mares and a foal had all been allowed to lose considerable body weight.

James Taylor“Their only source of water was from a series of ditches contaminated by the decomposing remains of their companions. Their hooves were also in terrible condition and they were infested with lice and worms. They could not go on living in those conditions and needed immediate vet care and proper forage.

“The vet who came to examine them confirmed they were likely to suffer further if left in the current conditions, so the police were able to remove them and place them into our care.”

Taylor was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, banned from keeping equines for 10 years and ordered to pay costs of £1,183.

The four horses were removed by the police and placed into RSPCA care. They are currently being cared for by World Horse Welfare.