Woman banned for two years after 32 horses put down

  • rspcacase11A woman from Lancashire has been banned from keeping horses for two years after 32 horses in her care had to be put down.

    Mary Louise Smith of Meadow Street, Great Harwood, was convicted of 28 offences under the Animal Welfare Act — 12 of causing unnecessary suffering and 16 of failing to meet the needs of horses and ponies.

    rspcacasem3The case brought forward by the RSPCA involved 40 horses. They were removed from multiple locations in and around Great Harwood last year (31 March) and on several subsequent dates over a period of more than four months.

    32 horses were put down, suffering from a variety of ailments.

    Two horses were rehomed by the RSPCA, five were taken into the care of World Horse Welfare and one was taken on by the Blue Cross.

    rspcacase9Many of the horses were underweight and some of them were emaciated. They also had respiratory infections, high worm burdens, diarrhoea, lice, rain scald, sunburn and overgrown feet as well as lameness.

    Smith appeared at Blackburn Magistrates Court on 9 October for sentencing.

    She was disqualified from owning horses and ponies for two years, given a community order for 14 weeks, including a curfew between 9pm and 6am, and ordered to pay costs of £6,588.92.

    rspcacase6She was found not guilty of 21 further offences.

    “This was a large and challenging case involving a huge number of animals removed from several locations over several months,” said RSPCA chief inspector Beth Clements.

    “Many of the horses were in poor body condition and in some cases emaciated. Lots of them were only yearlings and were very poorly indeed.

    “Owners and those responsible for animals must ensure they meet their needs, including providing veterinary care for them if they need it, sadly that did not happen in this case and these animals suffered as a result.”

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