Two horses put down after man ignored warnings

A man who ignored warnings and kept 42 horses, two of whom had to be put down, in “appalling” conditions has been banned from keeping animals for life.

Edward George Bath, 58, of Arrael View, Abertillery, Wales, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Newport Magistrates’ Court on 3 September.

The RSPCA found “significant failings” on the part of Bath when inspectors attended a farm at Old Blaina Road, Abertillery in January after being notified by a member of the public. A second visit was made to the farm with a police warrant on 14 March.

A spokesman for the charity said four horses were removed in January due to their poor condition and one, found collapsed, was put down on the advice of a vet.

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “We issued warnings to improve the conditions at the premises, which included a large number of horses, two goats and poultry.

“Sadly this advice was not taken on board and in March we returned and through a warrant we removed 37 horses. One of these horses was put to sleep due to its condition on the advice of a vet. On this occasion we also removed 20 poultry and two goats – one of which was pregnant.”

The inspector said the horses were not cared for appropriately.

“The horses outside were not given enough food and were not provided for. The stables were filthy and it was just appalling to see these numbers of animals poorly being cared for,” she said.

In mitigation the court heard Bath was dealing with family circumstances.

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He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to three horses and failed to protect two horses from pain, injury and disease in January. In March he caused unnecessary suffering to five horses by failing to address their poor condition and did not take steps to ensure the needs of 35 horses.

Bath was given an 18-week custodial sentence for each offence to run concurrently; each suspended for 18 months. He was also given a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was ordered to pay costs of £360 and a contribution towards veterinary fees of £1,200. He must also pay a £115 victim surcharge.

All animals have been signed over to the RSPCA and are being placed into the rehoming process.

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