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£650 fine for man who left donkeys to suffer

A man who allowed the hooves of two donkeys to become so seriously overgrown that both were suffering has been fined £650.

Michael Stephen Walsh, of Rhuallt, Denbighshire, changed his original plea to admit a charge under the Animal Welfare Act. The 54-year-old was sentenced at Mold Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (20 November).

The RSPCA was called by members of the public who had noticed the two male donkeys were having difficulty walking owing to their severely overgrown feet. A vet who examined them found they were so overgrown, the animals were suffering.

RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “The failure to provide adequate care for these donkeys’ overgrown hooves caused them to suffer.

“It is really sad how such basic action could have prevented this. A simple phone call to a farrier could have stopped these poor donkeys suffering.

“Fortunately, both will come into the care of the RSPCA and have a second chance of happiness. But this case reminds us how important proper appropriate care of hooves is for donkeys, and other equines.”

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It is understood there was reference in court to Walsh’s having taken bad advice regarding the care of the donkeys.

Walsh was fined £650 and ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge. He agreed to sign both donkeys into the RSPCA’s care. A second person accepted a caution for involvement in the poor condition of the donkeys.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

On the front cover of next week’s edition, out Thursday, 29 November, you will find a first for H&H, an Advent calendar featuring the drawings of Thelwell, as well as an extensive Christmas present guide, an interview with Nina Barbour, a vet special on flexion tests, and much, much more.

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