A horse trader who seriously neglected 18 horses — leaving them without food or water — has been sentenced to 23 weeks in prison.

The police found the emaciated horses at sites run by Mark Hall in Bromyard, Herefordshire and Bringsty, Worcestershire last year.

The horses were removed and taken to Bransby Horses’ rescue centre in Herefordshire. Unfortunately 2 of them were in such a horrific condition they had to be put down.

Neglected horses

Owen Beale, senior crown prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mark Hall inflicted immense cruelty and unnecessary suffering to animals to which he owed a duty of care.

“When officers arrived at his premises they found an assortment of horses and ponies housed in a variety of shelters, but there was no evidence of any water, horse feed or access for the animals to graze.

“One of the horses was suffering from an untreated injury and was in such poor health that a vet recommended immediate euthanasia.

“Another horse collapsed the day after it was taken to a horse sanctuary and had to be put down.

“When arrested, Hall maintained a defence that the animals suffered from a respiratory infection and salmonella, but there was no evidence that he administered any drugs or sought any medical help for them.”

Another neglected horse

Hall pleaded guilty to 5 counts of causing unnecessary suffering and 3 counts of duty of person responsible for animal failing to ensure welfare.

He has been banned from dealing, keeping or transporting horses, sheep, cattle or pigs for 15 years.  He was also ordered to reimburse Bransby Horses £13,571.51 for vets fees and to pay prosecution costs of £1,800.

“We are very pleased that justice has prevailed in this instance, as this case was particularly disturbing due to the blatant cruelty inflicted on defenseless animals,” said a spokesman for Bransby Horses.

“We are happy to report that this story does have an ultimately happy ending, as those animals who made it through their ordeal have flourished in the charity’s care (pictured top).”