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Ban for man who neglected ponies — and was seen beating one

A man who neglected three ponies in Wales has been banned from keeping animals for five years.

Arron Lee Dixon, 27, of Aberfan Fawr, was found guilty of five Animal Welfare Act offences at Merthyr Magistrates’ Court  on 11 December.

Each of the offences related to one or more of the three ponies — a grey and two skewbalds.

He was handed an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to undertake 20 rehabilitation days. Dixon was also banned from keeping animals for five years.

Dixon’s signing over of the horses and complying with the investigation were taken into account.

Fortunately, all three ponies have undergone an “amazing transformation” in RSPCA care and are now available for rehoming.

The charity had given the man advice on the care of his horses in February after the ponies had little to no natural grazing at a Bryngoleu site in the Merthyr Tydfil village.

But when they returned the following month — on 21 March — to check the welfare of the ponies, they were all found to be underweight with no supplementary feed available. One pony had also escaped the field and found grazing elsewhere.

While the RSPCA waited for the police and a vet to arrive, Dixon returned to the land and was witnessed by the officer beating one of the horses.

One skewbald pony was so underweight and had such a poor body condition that veterinary opinion was that he had suffered unnecessarily.

Dixon was found guilty of inappropriate handling and ill-treatment of the pony he beat on 21 March. 

He was also found guilty of offences related to failing to address the low weight and poor body condition of two ponies, as well as a failure to provide a suitable diet and suitable environment to all three of the ponies.

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In addition to the animal ban and suspended prison sentence, Dixon was also given a curfew between 6pm and 6am for a period of 10 weeks, and told to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

“These ponies were grazed illegally on inappropriate land without supplementary feed, and therefore were not having their needs met — and one was so underweight, vets found him to be suffering,” said the RSPCA’s Gemma Cooper.

“We tried to work with Dixon previously but returned to the site to find improvements had not been made. One pony had even escaped the field, and subsequently found grazing elsewhere.

“Thankfully, we were able to rescue these three ponies and offer them a second chance of happiness. All three ponies have made an amazing transformation in RSPCA care and are now available for rehoming.”

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