Stallion’s maggot-infested injury caused by two embedded headcollars

  • A man has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering after a stallion was found with a “shocking maggot-infested” injury due to two embedded headcollars.

    Glenn Foot, 32, of Marley Crescent, Sunderland, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday (29 January) having been convicted in his absence of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act at the court on 9 January.

    The RSPCA attended a “grassy area” off Wembley Road, Sunderland, on 29 August 2018 after a member of the public raised concerns about a tethered stallion, Raspy. One of the callers described Raspy as having a “tar-like substance” on his head and being surrounded by flies.

    RSPCA inspector Rowena Proctor, who attended, said she could see “hundreds of flies” surrounding Raspy and was “very concerned”.

    “There was a horrendous smell of infection. I could see the tar-like substance that had been mentioned and it appeared to be dried blood. I thought immediately that the horse may have an embedded headcollar,” said the inspector.

    A vet was called who discovered Raspy was wearing two headcollars which were embedded into his skin causing a maggot-infested injury.

    “The wound appeared a couple of inches deep, it looked like the horse had been sliced. It was absolutely shocking,” said the inspector.

    Warning: very graphic image

    “The smell coming from the headcollars was horrendous and I quickly noticed hundreds of fly eggs, alongside live maggots crawling around.”

    When police attempted to seize Raspy for removal into the care of the RSPCA, he was led away by Foot, with a man on his back. Efforts to find them were “unsuccessful”.

    PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are a nation of animal lovers so it is never nice to deal with cases like this that involves unnecessary suffering and pain.

    “The horse suffered a deep cut from his headcollar, but when confronted by police and the RSPCA, the owner refused to cooperate and would not disclose the location of the injured animal.

    “I am pleased that Glenn Foot has now had his day in court, and I hope this prosecution sends a message to owners that they are responsible for looking after their animals and ensuring they are protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

    “Anybody who fails to ensure an animal’s welfare needs are adequately met could face criminal action. We would always ask anybody who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress to contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.”

    The court found that:

    1. Between 22 August and 29 August 2018, Foot caused unnecessary suffered by failing to provide adequate veterinary care and attention for a wound
    2. On and before 29 August Foot did not take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of Raspy and failed to protect him from pain, suffering, injury and disease by not ensuring he was appropriately tethered
    3. On 29 August Foot intentionally obstructed a police officer and RSPCA inspector removing Raspy from the location after he had been taken into possession

    No mitigation was provided on behalf of the defendant. An application was made by the defendant to have the case re-opened but it was rejected by the court. The case was adjourned for reports and sentencing until 27 February.

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