A man and a woman from Llanelli have each been handed suspended prison sentences, and banned from keeping all animals for eight years, after a video emerged on social media which showed a pony being brutally whipped, and kicked.
Paul Stewart Griffiths Williams and Chloe Ann Morgan both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the pony, named Emry, at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday 3 March.
The offence was committed under the Animal Welfare Act.
The case followed the posting of a video on social media, which showed Ms Morgan whipping the pony.
Mr Williams, meanwhile, was filmed holding Emry and, towards the end of the footage, kicked himl.
At the time, the video attracted widespread public attention and condemnation. It was posted online in October 2016, when the attack is understood to have taken place.
Ms Morgan, of Tirgof, Llangennech, Llanelli, was handed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; while Mr Williams, of Dan y Allt, Felinfoel, Llanelli, was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for the same period of time.
Both defendants were also banned from keeping all animals for eight years, following an attack which an RSPCA inspector has branded “severe animal cruelty”.
The two individuals were each ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work, and told to pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge apiece.
The judge at Llanelli Magistrates' Court commented that the incident amounted to a vicious assault on the pony for no reason whatsoever.
Emry has now been re-homed by a rescue centre.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This video displays severe animal cruelty, for which there is absolutely no excuse. It was a needless, cruel and callous attack; and I'm just relieved the RSPCA was able to take action.
“It was clear to me that the pair involved knew their actions would cause this poor pony suffering and distress, yet they brutally attacked the animal in such a visibly shocking way.
“After this distressing video first appeared on social media, there was a massive public reaction, which highlighted how - on the whole - Wales is a nation of people who care deeply, and passionately, about animal welfare.
“RSPCA Cymru exists to protect animals like poor Emry the pony; and I'm just relieved the animal has another chance of happiness after being re-homed by a rescue centre.”
The original video can be viewed here