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Four horses put down after 31-strong herd neglected

A man who neglected 31 horses, to the point four had to be put down, has been banned from keeping equids for 10 years and given a suspended prison sentence.

Alun Lloyd, of Sunny Hill, Llanfyrnach, was found guilty of nine offences under the Animal Welfare Act. He was sentenced on 22 December at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court.

A spokesman for RSPCA Cymru said the 31 horses in Lloyd’s care were being kept in an unsuitable environment, in several fields at Esgyr Fawr, Cippyn, where ragwort was prevalent.

“Further offences specifically related to seven of the horses owned by Lloyd — six of whom his failure to act caused to suffer unnecessarily,” the spokesman said, adding that the horses were in poor condition. One also had an ulcerated sarcoid and another, serious dental issues.

Three horses needed lice control, two treatment for rain scald and one veterinary attention for breathing issues.

Four of the horses had to be put down, owing to the “extent of their condition and not responding to intensive treatment”.

The RSPCA was contacted by Dyfed Powys Police about the horses. The charity’s officers said conditions had not improved despite advice they had offered, and that the court case was the result of “bad husbandry” and failure to respect the horses’ basic needs.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “Sadly, this case saw multiple horses cared for completely inappropriately. Some 31 did not have their needs met, with repeated bad husbandry and several fields full of ragwort causing serious problems.

“Seven horses in particular caused us serious concern, with a combination of poor bodily condition, weight loss, dental problems and an ulcerated sarcoid causing suffering among this neglected group.

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“Owning horses is a privilege, and unfortunately, despite repeated warnings, the standards of care have fallen well short of legal requirements here — and sadly these animals have paid the price. Fortunately, the RSPCA was able to intervene and the majority of these horses will have another chance of happiness.

It is understood that in mitigation, it was highlighted that the defendant had cared for horses for a number of years. He had been unprepared to relinquish control of the animals, despite the fact he was finding it increasingly difficult to care for them.

As well as the six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Lloyd was disqualified from the keeping and owning of horses for 10 years, and ordered to pay £1,500 in fines and costs. He cannot appeal the ban for five years.

He was given 28 days to make arrangements for horses still in his care.

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