The RSPCA has met with the family of a man in Cumbria who hanged himself after 102 ponies and horses were confiscated from his care last week.

Acting on veterinary advice, the RSCPA removed animals belonging to 68-year-old Alan Brough on 28-29 July from Caldbeck Common in the Lake District and his Newbiggin yard.

The RSPCA worked with World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the British Horse Society, the HorseWorld Trust and local police.

One horse and pony were in such poor condition they were euthanased — the remaining animals are reported as being “neglected”.

Mr Brough was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty on 28 July, but released without charge. He was found dead by his granddaughter hours later.

The case has sparked a media furore, after “the Self-Help Group” — set up to combat what it calls “RSPCA persecution” — contacted Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Brooker.

Mr Brooker insinuated that the RSPCA had misrepresented the alleged case of cruelty “in order to win the publicity”.

Read this story in full in today’s Horse & Hound (5 August, 2010)