It's one of the biggest cases of horse cruelty the RSPCA has ever dealt with. Today a horse trader has been jailed in Cardiff and banned from keeping horses after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering. Thomas Tony Price and his family are thought to own thousands of horses.
These horses turned out to be the most poorly and diseased horses I have come across. It is my belief that the 12 in the barn had been left there to die. We are hopeful that the disqualification will mean that no other horses have to suffer at the hands of these defendants.
– Christine McNeil, RSPCA inspector
These horses were suffering or their needs were not being met but there are hundreds of other horses across Wales and England which may not be suffering but are just being left to illegally graze and indiscriminately breed. It really is a massive problem that we struggle to deal with day after day.
“We worked closely with Bridgend County Council throughout this case and their assistance was pivotal in securing today’s result.
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has worked extremely hard, in partnership with the police and neighbouring authorities, to see Tom Price brought to justice, and we all welcome today’s verdict. His actions have caused a great deal of suffering to his horses. But, in allowing the horses to fly-graze, straying onto public roads and residential areas, he could also have risked the safety of the public.
– Christina Roberts-Kinsey, Principal trading standards officer, Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Throughout the Vale council’s investigations, Tom Price repeatedly denied ownership of the horses and failed to cooperate with the council’s requests. Despite the terms of the ASBO, Tom Price has continued with his illegal practices and has breached the order several times. The Vale council hopes today’s verdict will act as a strong deterrent against fly-grazing practices, not only in the Vale of Glamorgan but throughout the UK.
A 49-year-old man has been jailed for 26 weeks by Cardiff Magistrates for charges of cruelty to animals.
Thomas Tony Price was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the welfare needs of 27 horses earlier this year.
Today he was given a prison sentence and banned from owning, transporting and dealing horses for five years.
He was also ordered to pay the RSPCA £43,484 in costs.
The horses were removed from five different locations across the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend between February and March last year.
Twelve of the horses were found locked in a barn with no space or access to food or water. They were underweight and suffering from various untreated conditions.
The Price family are thought to own around 2,500 horses throughout Wales and England.