Man convicted of causing suffering to horse with maggot-infested injury

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A man from Sunderland has been convicted of allowing a horse to suffer, in a prosecution case brought forward by the RSPCA. 

The charity attended a grassy area off Wembley Road in Sunderland on 29 August, 2018 after concerns were raised for a tethered horse. 

RSPCA inspector Rowena Proctor said: “When I approached Raspy, I could see hundreds of flies surrounding him and was very concerned. 

“There was a horrendous smell of infection, and a substance that appeared to be dried blood. I thought immediately that the horse may have an embedded headcollar.” 

Maggot-infested

Rowena called a vet who discovered Raspy was wearing not one but two headcollars which were embedded into his skin.

She added: “The wound appeared a couple of inches deep, it looked like the horse had been sliced. It was absolutely shocking. 

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

The horse was taken into possession by police for removal into RSPCA care, but the owner refused to hand over Raspy and took him away. Efforts to find them were unsuccessful. 

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Unnecessary suffering

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 involve 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.”

Glenn Foot, Raspy’s owner, was convicted of one count of causing unnecessary suffering, one of failing to meet the horse’s needs and a third count of obstructing a police officer. 

Peter continued: “I am pleased that Mr 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.”

An application to have the case reopened yesterday was rejected by the court. The case was adjourned for reports and sentencing until 27 February at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The RSPCA’s Homes for Horse campaign aims to find forever homes for its almost 800 horses and ponies this spring by showcasing the versatility and capability of the horses it rescues, whether they are ridden horses, companion animals or youngsters with heaps of potential. Visit rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses to find out more. 


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