A Staffordshire horse dealer who allowed horses and donkeys to be kept in squalid conditions has pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.
Jackie Johnson, 54 of Stadmorslow Farm in Harriseahead, appeared before North Staffordshire Magistrates Court yesterday, charged under Section 9 and Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for animal cruelty and failing to provide a duty of care to the animals under her control.
The case comes after an investigation by Staffordshire County Council’s Animal Health team following the execution of a warrant at the dealer’s yard, along with officers from Staffordshire Police, World Horse Welfare, the Donkey Sanctuary and the RSPCA.
Visits to the farm by officers revealed horses kept in poor condition, in dirty stables with no dry lying area. Horses outside the stables had no shelter and were wet and dirty.
One pony was found collapsed in a field, covered with rugs and tarpaulin. After being examined by a vet, it was put to sleep. A second pony was found on the site with injuries and also had to be euthanized.
Further visits were made to Stadmorslow Farm, where another 4 horses were taken away and several put to sleep due to their condition.
Johnson was given a 12 week sentence for each offence, suspended for 12 months, and made to pay nearly £3,500 plus an £80 victim surcharge. She was also disqualified from having anything further to do with horses, donkeys and ponies indefinitely.
County Councillor Gill Heath, communities leader at Staffordshire County Council said:
“It is clear that the business being operated at this farm had serious issues, and resulted in serious consequences for the horses, donkeys and ponies that were being kept there. By working with voluntary organisations for animal welfare, we were able to ensure the safety of the remaining animals, and make sure the horse dealer was brought to justice.
“We will also seek to prosecute people who flout the law and don’t adhere to regulations.”