A man previously banned from keeping equines has been handed a 20-week suspended jail term after failing to meet the needs of more than 90 ponies and causing dozens of them, plus three cockerels, to suffer at his farm in Wales.
He also received a 20-year ban from keeping equines and poultry and was told to pay a £1,000 fine and a £128 victim surcharge.
Evan Lloyd Evans, 76, pleaded guilty to 10 Animal Welfare Act offences and was sentenced at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on Monday (21 June).
He also admitted breaching a previous ten-year ban from keeping equines which was handed to him in 2013. This means he should not have been keeping ponies until 2023 at the earliest. His ban now extends until 2041.
Dozens of the ponies — plus three cockerels — were found to have suffered unnecessarily due to Evans’ lack of action. Three had to be put down — one due to a broken leg that had been left untreated.
Monday’s prosecution followed a large multi-agency operation at Evans’ farm in September 2020, where a warrant was executed in relation to equines and other animals being kept in poor conditions.
Video footage (see below) shown in court demonstrated the conditions at the farm and showed horses stood in filthy, dark and hazardous conditions.
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‘Bucket of dead rats’
A statement said RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben found dozens of horses and other animals kept in outbuildings, barns and fields in highly inappropriate conditions, with faeces everywhere and a bucket of dead rats.
The court heard that, in total, Evans kept more than 90 ponies in illegal conditions which were unhygienic and not free from hazards.
“Sadly, vets felt that dozens of the horses had suffered unnecessarily, including one, a steel grey Welsh section A pony, who had not received appropriate veterinary care for a broken leg, and another four grey female Welsh section A ponies who had not been given vet attention for lameness,” said the statement.
Evans also failed to ensure six of his ponies had appropriate treatment for parasites. One grey mare, also a Welsh section A, had a severe facial deformity which had gone unchecked.
A total of 28 of the ponies suffered as a consequence of Evans’ failure to secure appropriate dental care, while a further eight were also deemed to have suffered through not receiving appropriate hoof care.
RSPCA Cymru worked with North Wales Police, World Horse Welfare, Redwings, the British Horse Society and local vets to come to the aid of animals based at the site.
‘A second chance’
Three cockerels also suffered unnecessarily — two due to severe skin disease and a third because of an ulcerated hock and/or abnormal limb position.
“A large number of animals were being kept in wholly inappropriate conditions, with more than 90 ponies kept in unhygienic conditions that fell well short of legal minimums,” said RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben.
“Sadly, many of the equines suffered as a consequence of Evans’ inaction. From insufficient hoof and dental care, to a pony with a broken leg — this case is an example of what can go wrong quickly when large numbers of animals aren’t cared for properly.”
“Three cockerels suffered too,” continued Keith. “I am just relieved that following the intervention of a number of agencies, many of these animals will now have a second chance of forever home happiness. It’s a great example of partnership working which is testimony to what can be achieved together for animal welfare.”