A man has been banned from keeping animals for life after a pony and poultry were found staving on a “filthy allotment”.

David Alex Slater of Wycherley Road, Rochdale, appeared at Bury Magistrates Court on Wednesday (3 June).

The case was brought by the RSPCA. Slater had previously pleaded guilty to five allegations under the Animal Welfare Act at a hearing on 13 May.

The RSPCA was contacted by the Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA), on 1 September 2014. The organisation was concerned about a grey Welsh section A pony and a number of poultry on an allotment off Bridgefold Road in Rochdale.

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“The pony was up to his fetlocks in mud, in fact the whole allotment was swimming in a horrible mixture of mud and faeces,” said RSPCA inspector Catherine Byrnes.

“The pony was very thin but the poultry were even worse. The vet said if they’d been there another five days they’d have died. When you felt them they were literally skeletons with feathers. They had severe lice infestations and scaly leg.

“All the animals had shelters but they were woefully inadequate — filthy, dark and dingy with no dry resting areas. Four cockerels were in what can only be described as a cupboard inside a shed. I couldn’t believe it when I found them living inside. It was pitch black and there were no roosting or nesting areas.

“All of the animals had access to water but it was either stale and absolutely filthy or rain water.”

Slater was also handed a 12-month community order including 200 hours of unpaid work to be undertaken at an animal charity shop. He was ordered to pay £560 in costs.

The pony remains in the care of HAPPA, which has been looking after him since he was rescued. The poultry have been rehomed by the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Byrnes added: “Though we brought the prosecution it would never have happened without HAPPA. We are really grateful to them.”