A man who refused to look after his horses when they were suffering from skin infections has been banned from keeping equines for five years.
Perparim Tahiraj, 48, of Williamson Drive, Helensburgh, was found guilty of one charge under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for failing to provide a suitable environment, adequate diet and protection from suffering injury and disease in relation to five horses.
The SSPCA attended a field in Helensburgh in December 2018 where Tahiraj had kept five horses throughout the year without the landowner’s permission.
SSPCA inspector Gillian Dick said: “Tahiraj is well known to the SSPCA; we have had countless dealings with him and removed animals from his care a number of times. We tried on several occasions to provide him with guidance and advice on how to care for his animals.
“Tahiraj did not have permission to graze his horses on the land and had effectively been fly-grazing within the field and surrounding grass area since January 2018.”
Ms Dick said Tahiraj stated on 24 December 2018 he would no longer attend to his horses or provide feed for them.
“We asked him to sign the horses over in to our care, which he refused to do,” she said.
“When we attended the horses we discovered them all to be underweight and in poor body condition. Four of the five were suffering from skin infections, which needed veterinary treatment.”
Ms Dick added the field provided inadequate grazing and little appropriate shelter from adverse weather conditions.
“The horses were exposed to poisonous rhododendron bushes and discarded fencing material,” she said.
“In one corner of the field, the fence was broken and taped up, which was not suitable to contain the horses from the nearby busy road.”
Tahiraj was banned from keeping equines for five years.
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“We welcome this sentence,” said Ms Dick. “Tahiraj was not capable of meeting the most basic of needs for the horses in his care. We hope this sentence makes Tahiraj consider his ability to look after any animal in the future,” said Ms Dick.
“We are happy to report the horses survived their ordeal and have now found new homes with responsible owners who will be able to give them the care Tahiraj failed to provide.”
The court heard Mr Tahiraj was suffering from health complications, and claimed he had bought skin cream for the horses.
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