Animal welfare societies speak out over sentence of a man found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to four ponies

A Scottish man was banned from keeping horses for five years atPerth Sheriff Court last week after previously pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to four Welsh ponies.

Former policeman Graeme Donaldson Philip, 34, also received 200 hours of community service and £500 fine for failing to dispose of four pony carcasses which were found at the stables.

A total of 11 ponies were found by a SSPCA field officer in June 2000 after the society received a complaint about some thin ponies in a field.

Senior SSPCA inspector Bob Gowans said: “When our officer arrived he discovered four dead ponies in the stables. They had literally starved to death. It was a heartrending and extremely distressing case to deal with. We were astounded at the leniency of the sentence.”

The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) has also spoken out in condemnation of the sentence.

“We are absolutely appalled at the leniency of this sentence,” said Adam Fleming, ILPH Field Officer for South Scotland. “He should have received a life ban on keeping all animals at the very least. The amount of suffering that those four ponies must have endured before they died is beyond belief.”

Six of the ponies were taken to the SSPCA’s Lothian Animal Welfare centre for treatment and rehabilitation and have since been successfully rehomed.

Visit the ILPH website at www.ilph.org or the SSPCA website at www.scottishspca.org

  • Joanne Eleanor, 30, who had admitted failing to provide necessary care for a chesnut mare found in an undernourished and neglected state by an RSCPA officer, has had her 10-year ban on keeping animals halved on appeal by Teesside Crown Court.