TWO SHETLAND crofters could be facing prison after they admitted causing cruelty to Shetland ponies, sheep and cattle, at Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday (Wednesday).

Thomas Jamieson, aged 42, of Walls pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to seven Shetland ponies earlier this year.

The court heard that environmental health officials were called in after neighbours spotted a dead pony in a field outside Jamieson’s home on 12 February.

Seven other ponies were found to be malnourished.

Jamieson was ordered by the Shetland Islands’ Council to immediately provide food and shelter for the remaining ponies but failed to comply with the notice.

In court yesterday Tommy Allan, for the defence, said Jamieson had carried on the family tradition of keeping Shetland ponies started by his grandfather and his father, but had ended up with 35 – more than he could look after.

Some of the ponies were kept at a croft owned by 46-year-old Peter George Robertson, also of Walls, who also appeared in Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday facing seven charges of animal cruelty.

Robertson admitted causing unnecessary suffering to 12 cows by not providing feed and water. He also did not call a vet to help two sheep which could not stand and a collie dog which was unable to walk.

He also pleaded guilty to having 28 dead sheep, one dead cow and two dead calves lying unburied on his land.

Sheriff Graeme Napier deferred sentence on both men until 10 October.