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A man responsible for the “shocking neglect” of three Shetlands has been fined and the ponies re-homed.

Eric Gwilym Symmons, of Station Road, Letterston, Pembrokeshire, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the Shetlands, who were found with feet so overgrown, their movement was impeded.

A spokesman for RSPCA Cymru said Symmons should also have addressed the poor physical condition of one of the ponies, who weighed 141kg; 100kg less than would be expected for a Shetland of her height.

This RSPCA video shows the state in which the ponies were found.

Inspector Keith Hogben said: “We found three Shetlands at this property seriously impeded by overgrown hooves, and hidden from view.

“The suffering they endured is likely to have lasted many months. Put simply, there’s no excuse for this sort of shocking neglect.

“A straightforward five-minute phone call to a farrier could have prevented these Shetland ponies from experiencing the pain and suffering of such dangerously overgrown hooves.

“This was long-term and completely unnecessary neglect, with one of the ponies also lame with a very poor physical body condition – and the RSPCA is steadfast in its commitment to acting against such animal cruelty.”

Symmons, 63, had pleaded guilty to offences under the Animal Welfare Act and was sentenced at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court yesterday (31 July). The court took into account Symmons’ wife’s long-term illness when passing sentence.



He was fined £535 and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £53 surcharge.

Mr Hogben added that the story has a happy ending, as all three ponies were signed over into the charity’s care and have now been “happily rehomed”.

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