York man banned from keeping horses after neglect

The RSPCA became involved after being contacted by a concerned member of the public Credit: RSPCA

A man has been banned from keeping horses after failing to adequately look after his starving filly, which led to it needing to be put down.

The RSPCA were contacted by a concerned member of the public who saw the emaciated horse in a field near Ripon.

Inspectors from the charity, two police officers and a veterinary surgeon visited the field in Norton-Le-Clay in November 2020 where the filly, and four other adult thoroughbred-type horses, were being kept.

The owner of the horses, George Turner, of Broad Balk Lane, York, had denied two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the thoroughbred-type horse and failing to meet her needs by providing a suitable diet.

He stood trial at York Magistrates Court in December and was found guilty of both counts following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

The thoroughbred-type filly had a body condition score of just 0.5 out of 5 Credit: RSPCA

The horse also had an extensive skin condition called rain scald across her back and rump but had not been provided with any shelter to escape adverse weather conditions. 

She was seized and transported to a specialist equine hospital for treatment where her condition then deteriorated even further. Vets made the decision to put her to sleep on humane grounds to prevent further suffering.

A post mortem revealed the horse had an emaciated body condition, extensive ulceration of the stomach - which may have been predisposed by a lack of adequate food - and a heavy worm burden. 

Turner appeared at the location and confirmed that all the horses were his and watched as the vet examined the young horse. Credit: RSPCA

In her evidence, inspector Cooper said: “The horse was very thin. Her spine was prominent and protruded like a ridge along her back, and the bones around her back end looked sharp and pointy. Her demeanour seemed very subdued, and she stood with her head bowed. When walking she appeared slow and quite weak.”

At a sentencing hearing on 10 January, Turner was given an 18-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and disqualified from keeping all equines for ten years. 

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