Mare with broken leg among 90 ponies neglected by man banned from keeping equines

  • A man who neglected more than 90 ponies, including leaving one mare with a broken leg, was breaching a previous court ban on keeping equines.

    Evan Lloyd Evans, of Chwilog, Pwllheli, Wales, was sentenced at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on 21 June, having pleaded guilty to 10 offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

    The 76-year-old, who admitted breaching a 10-year ban on keeping equines issued in 2013, had caused dozens of ponies, and three cockerels, to suffer at his farm.

    The court saw footage of the premises, at which a multi-agency operation was carried out last September, which showed horses being kept in “filthy, dark and hazardous conditions”, an RSPCA spokesman said.

    RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben found dozens of horses and other animals kept in outbuildings, barns and fields in “highly inappropriate conditions, with faeces everywhere – and even a bucket of dead rats”.

    “The court heard Evans kept more than 90 ponies in illegal conditions, which were unhygienic and not free from hazards,” the spokesman said.

    “Sadly, vets felt that dozens of the horses had suffered unnecessarily, including one, a steel grey Welsh section A pony, who had not received appropriate veterinary care for a broken leg, and another four grey female Welsh section As, who had not been given vet attention for lameness.

    “Evans also failed to ensure six of his ponies had appropriate treatment for parasites, while one grey female Welsh section A pony had a severe facial deformity that had gone unchecked – all leading to more suffering for equines at the farm.”

    Picture by RSPCA

    Evans’ failure to seek the right dental care meant 28 ponies suffered, and eight more were deemed to have suffered from a lack of appropriate hoof care.

    RSPCA Cymru worked with North Wales Police, World Horse Welfare, Redwings, the British Horse Society and vets to help the animals at the site, in a “great example of partnership working, which is testimony to what can be achieved together for animal welfare”.

    Three cockerels also suffered unnecessarily; two with severe skin disease, and a third owing to an ulcerated hock and/or abnormal limb position.

    Three horses had to be put down but almost all the others will be available for rehoming via different National Equine Welfare Council members. The three cockerels went into the care of the RSPCA.

    Evans “co-operated fully” with the RSPCA’s investigation, is a long-standing farmer and animals have been a major part of his livelihood.

    Evans was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and banned from keeping horses and poultry for 20 years. He was ordered to pay a £1,000 fine and a £128 victim surcharge.

    After the sentencing, Mr Hogben said: “Sadly, many of the equines suffered as a consequence of Evans’ inaction. From insufficient hoof and dental care, to a pony with a broken leg; this case is an example of what can go wrong quickly when large numbers of animals aren’t cared for properly.

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    “We’re indebted to our partners at North Wales Police, World Horse Welfare, Redwings and the British Horse Society, who worked tirelessly with us on this huge job, which was clearly so important for the continued welfare of the animals we rescued.

    “Three cockerels suffered too, but I am just relieved that following the intervention of a number of agencies, many of these animals will now have a second chance of happiness. It’s a great example of partnership working which is testimony to what can be achieved together for animal welfare.”

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