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Scottish Woman Convicted for Pony Cruelty

Today, Wednesday 18th September, at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Louise Gillespie, 20, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a young Shetland pony cross
known as Juno. She was banned from owning and being in charge of horses and ponies for 3 years and fined £350.

Gillespie of Bishopbriggs, Glasgow called the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) in December last year asking for assistance in catching her 3
year old Shetland cross pony.

"When I arrived", states ILPH Field Officer Adam Fleming, "I saw the pony in question whose front legs were matted with blood and pus from wounds on its face caused by a nylon headcollar that was embedded in its nose and cheeks.

"As the pony was proving difficult to catch I called the SSPCA for assistance. Once caught I found that the noseband and the cheek pieces of the headcollar were
covered over with skin and that the noseband was so tight it was restricting the movement of the pony's mouth."

Despite a pain killing injection the attending vet was unable to remove the headcollar which was later surgically removed under general anaesthetic at the Royal
(Dick)School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. After the operation the pony was placed in the care of the ILPH at Belwade Farm in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.

Comments Professor Dixon MVB PhD MRCVS at the Royal Dick, "This was the most serious welfare case that I have ever seen in this Veterinary College over the past 27 years. The prolonged suffering this animal must have gone through can be evidenced by the extensive degree of bony changes present in the skull."

Continues Adam Fleming, "Let this be a warning to people with young horses and ponies kept at grass. They need to be handled regularly and their headcollars
adjusted frequently to allow for unrestricted growth. I feel that justice has now been done."


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