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Shire horses left in squalid conditions in Lancashire field

A man who kept 16 shire horses in squalor on land in Lancashire has been banned from keeping horses for life.

Philip Davies, of Plantation Road, Turton, Bolton, was sentenced at Blackburn Magistrates Court yesterday (25 October).

He had been found guilty of 52 allegations of cruelty and neglect and admitted four further charges, relating to horses kept at Plantation Road between October and December last year.

The horses were suffering from lice, mites and worms, foot rot and many were suffering liver damage from having eaten ragwort in the muddy and overgrazed paddock.

The RSPCA was alerted to the horses’ plight by local vet Vikki Fowler, after a horse slipped down a bank in the field on Plantation Road on 28 November 2011.

The filly had become tangled in barbed wire and was so weak that she could not stand.

Miss Fowler was so concerned about the horse’s condition that she bought the filly, whom she named Hope, and has since nursed her back to health.

Davies was advised, by the RSPCA, to move the horses to better conditions but the RSPCA was still not happy and on 15 and 16 December 2011 the RSPCA removed 15 horses from the site.

One has since died and another horse, belonging to a third party, was returned to its owner.

Davies denied that he owned any of the horses.

He was also sentenced to 300 hours of community service and ordered to pay the RSPCA’s costs, which the charity says will top £100,000.

The RSPCA is looking for suitable homes for the 14 remaining horses and two foals born since they were seized. If you can help, leave a message for Inspector Hyde on 0300 1234 999.

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