Lancashire woman appeals 15-year ban on keeping horses

  • A Lancashire woman has lodged an appeal after being banned for keeping horses for 15 years.

    Diane O’Sullivan of Cartmel Place, Morecambe, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering at Lancaster Magistrates Court yesterday (Wednesday, 18 November).

    Forty-one-year-old Ms O’Sullivan was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her pony, Rocky, by failing to provide veterinary treatment and failing to treat him for parasites.

    Rocky was found collapsed at a livery yard on 23 February following a tip-off from a member of the public.

    World Horse Welfare field officer Chris Williamson, and RSPCA inspector Victoria Westwood found the two-year-old piebald colt so emaciated and weak he was unable to stand.

    He had to be carried to a trailer to be taken to World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm recovery and rehabilitation centre near Blackpool.

    Rocky was riddled with lice and worms and was in a life-threatening condition.

    After 10 months at Penny Farm Rocky now weighs 335kg, compared with 212kg on his arrival.

    “Without the prompt veterinary attention that was given to Rocky, he would not have survived,” said Mr Williamson.

    Ms O’Sullivan was also put under a curfew order from 8pm to 8am for 12 weeks and ordered to pay £3,421 in costs, at £10 a week.

    A deprivation order was made against O’Sullivan for Rocky, and another for a second horse in her ownership. It is intended that, depending on the outcome of the appeal, both animals will be signed over to World Horse Welfare.

    She was previously banned from keeping equines for 10 years until August 2008.

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