A North Wales horse dealer is the first in the country to face prosecution for failing to take action to prevent horses getting disease.

Peter Jones, 59, a former police officer, from Bersham, Wrexham, faces a maximum fine of £5,000 and/or up to two years in prison.

He is charged with allegedly failing to keep a horse imported from the Irish Republic in isolation to prevent possible infection with strangles.

A date for the case at Wrexham Magistrates Court has not yet been fixed.

This signals tougher enforcement action by trading standards officers for breaches of animal welfare regulations in an effort to prevent a new disease outbreak.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (6 January, ’11)