Man convicted after four horses found starving and dehydrated

  • A man has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering after one horse died and three had to be rescued due to the terrible conditions they were kept in.

    Alby Peter Smith, 50, of Washington Road, Emsworth, left three horses to starve and shut a fourth in a dark and unventilated stable in West Sussex late last year.

    He was yesterday (Tuesday 21 September) convicted of two offences under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act — one for causing unnecessary suffering and one for failing to meet the need of an animal.

    Mr Smith will be sentenced on 19 October.

    During a three-day trial at Worthing Magistrates, the court heard how World Horse Welfare field officer Ted Barnes and RSPCA inspector Becky Carter visited a field in Cooks Lane, Southbourne on 9 December 2009.

    There they found an emaciated grey filly standing over a grey colt that was so weakened through starvation and dehydration it had collapsed and was unable to rise. The colt was put to sleep on 10 December.

    In another stable they found an emaciated bay filly with severe diarrhoea, caked in its own muck.

    A fourth horse, a black gelding, was found in a stable with the top door shut with no light or ventilation.

    The three surviving horses were taken to World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Somerton, Somerset, where they remain.

    “This is a typical case of neglect, where Mr Smith was callous enough not to attend to his horses on a regular basis as he should have done, and he is now going to pay the penalty for that,” said Mr Barnes.

    “The three horses that survived are extremely lucky given that one of their number was so sick that it had to be euthanased”.

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