Seven-year ban for owner of horse too thin to be saved *warning: upsetting pictures*

  • The owner of a former racehorse found so emaciated she could not be saved despite vets’ best efforts has been banned from keeping equines for seven years.

    Natasha Jane Waller, of Ashby Road, Shepshed, was found guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her horse Maisie, at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on 18 August.

    The 25-year-old had failed to seek treatment for Maisie or deal with her “severe” weight loss, so she was “in an extremely poor state of health” when she was first seen by RSPCA inspectors.

    “Although she was taken to a specialist racehorse rescue group known as Team Thor for expert care, vets were sadly not able to save her due to the extent of Maisie’s condition,” said an RSPCA spokesman.

    Warning, very upsetting pictures here and here.

    Waller was found guilty under the animal Welfare Act. As well as the ban, she was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay a £150 surcharge.

    RSPCA inspector Alison North said: “We were first called with concerns for Maisie’s welfare in April 2016 and worked with Waller giving lots of advice on properly feeding Maisie to help her gain weight and condition.

    “We were pleased Waller seemed to be following this advice but sadly later that year in October (2016) we received further calls to report that Maisie’s condition has worsened again.

    “We went out to see Maisie straight away and tragically, found her to be severely emaciated and suffering.


    “Sadly, even vets were not able to save Maisie and she was put to sleep on welfare grounds. This was a really upsetting case and Maisie is one of the thinnest horses we had seen — it was a real shock to see her like that.

    “It’s incredibly sad to think that earlier that year Waller had followed our advice and started to improve Maisie’s condition, but at some point she stopped and poor Maisie suffered hugely and lost her life as a result.

    “As a welfare organisation with more than 800 horses currently in our care, we see the horrible effects of neglect and suffering to animals every day. We rely on the public to be our eyes and ears and report cruelty and suffering to us, and we are grateful to those who contacted us about Maisie so we could do what we could to try and help.”

    Britain is ‘still in the grip of an equine welfare crisis’ according to charities. See this week’s H&H (out 31 August).

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