Boxer banned from keeping horses for five years: RSPCA unable to find injured horse

  • A boxing champion whose horse was found with a maggot-infested headcollar injury has been given a five-year ban on keeping animals.

    Glenn Foot, 31, from Sunderland, was convicted for three offences under the Animal Welfare Act in January prior to his sentencing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (27 February).

    He was sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, failing to meet the horse’s needs and obstructing an officer.

    Foot was disqualified from owning, keeping or transporting any equine for five years and the RSPCA was also given permission to rehome the horse in question, a stallion named Raspy. However, they have not been able to find him.

    In mitigation, the court heard Foot was preoccupied with the opportunity of a lifetime to win the Commonwealth Boxing Championship at the time.

    As well as the disqualification, he was also sentenced to an 18-month community order with 300 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay costs of £400 and an £85 victim surcharge.

    On 29 August 2018, the RSPCA was called to a grassy area off Wembley Road in Sutherland after concerns were raised for a tethered horse.

    One of the callers callers described the horse as having a “tar-like substance” on his head — which turned out to be dried blood — and was surrounded by flies.

    Speaking in January, PC Peter Baker of Northumbria Police said he hopes this sends a message to owners that they are responsible for looking after their animals and ensuring they are protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

    “The horse suffered a deep cut from his head collar, but when confronted by police and the RSPCA, the owner refused to cooperate and would not disclose the location of the injured animal,” said PC Baker.

    We are a nation of animal lovers so it is never nice to deal with cases like this that involves unnecessary suffering and pain.”

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    RSPCA inspector Rowena Proctor said there was a “horrendous smell of infection” and she could see hundreds of flies surrounding Raspy.

    She called a vet, who found the horse had two headcollars deeply embedded into his skin.

    “The smell coming from the collars was horrendous and I quickly noticed hundreds of fly eggs, alongside live maggots, crawling around inside them,” she added.

    “The wound appeared a couple of inches deep, it looked like the horse had been sliced. It was absolutely shocking.”

    Foot ran off with the horse on 29 August and while a deprivation order has been placed on Raspy as part of the owner’s sentence, the RSPCA does not know where the horse is so cannot enforce it.

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