Starving horse left to suffer with poor feet and a fractured tooth

  • A woman who “left a starving horse to suffer” has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years.

    Katrianna Jade Rich, 29, of Lower Peasedown, Peasdown St John, Somerset, appeared at Bath Magistrates’ Court on 9 August for sentencing, having pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences at a previous hearing.

    The court heard that Rich, who ran a smallholding with horses, sheep and goats, was visited by RSPCA inspector Daniel Hatfield and a field officer from World Horse Welfare on 9 February this year, after welfare concerns were raised.

    “While there, they discovered Murphy, who despite being covered with three rugs, was in visibly poor condition,” an RSPCA spokesman said.

    Mr Hatfield added: “I could still easily see his hip bones sticking through the rugs, [that he appeared] in really poor body condition, and once the rugs were removed you could see just how poor a condition he was in – you could see his ribs, hips and spine easily. He stood there with his head down, looking extremely depressed, and you could see the dips in the side of his head.”

    A vet was called and Murphy was found to be emaciated with a body condition score of 0.5 out of five.

    “He also had poor feet with overgrown hooves which were impacted with debris, including embedded stones, and poor dental health, including a fractured tooth,” the RSPCA spokesman said.

    “He was certified as suffering by the vet and was taken into possession by police and passed into the care of the RSPCA. Further tests found he had a high worm burden but showed nothing abnormal to account for the poor body condition, aside from prolonged starvation.

    “Murphy gained weight once in the care of the RSPCA by simply being given a normal diet. Photographs taken weeks later, on March 29, show how different he looks after spending time in the care of the charity.”

    In mitigation, it was said she was remorseful as she had said she was aware of the weight loss but had not sought help from a vet.

    As well as the ban, which she cannot appeal for 10 years, Rich was given a nine-week curfew and ordered to pay £400 costs.

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