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Horse Welfare Charity Outraged at Magistrates' Decision

"To return an animal to its abuser is another welfare disaster waiting to happen."

Yesterday 11th December at Swaffham Magistrates Court in Norfolk, Rita Jones of Diss, Norfolk was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Dolly a black infoal mare in her possession and was fined £50 and charged £60 costs.

Says Jonathon Jackson (Jacko) a Field Officer for the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses), "We are appalled that the Court having found Jones guilty should see fit to return the mare and foal to her. Understandably our stable staff who nursed the mare when she came in to us, are absolutely gutted."

In February this year, following a complaint to the ILPH, Jacko was called to Mission Road, Diss where he found a lice infested, severely emaciated mare on a tether. She was described in court by veterinary surgeon, Andy Williamson, as 'grossly emaciated and in a depressed and lethargic condition'.

In May, Dolly had a colt foal, Sebastian - but, sadly, in June they were both stolen.

Following detective work by the ILPH, the mare and foal were found in Roydon Fen and were removed, with the help of the police, to Glenda Spooner Farm the ILPH centre in Herefordshire, for their own safe keeping.

Continues Jacko, "In Court the Magistrates said that as Mrs Jones had the financial commitment of 6 dependent children the fine and costs would reflect this.

"As Mr. Jones also added, when cross examined, that he had 60 plus horses to look after, then why did the Magistrates, after finding her guilty of cruelty, see fit to impose more financial burden upon her and return the mare and foal to her ? It's not logical from a financial point of view nor is it logical from a welfare point of view. To return an animal to its abuser is another welfare disaster waiting to happen."


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