Three members of the same family have all been banned from keeping horses after ignoring the advice given to them from welfare charities.
Tommy Dunn Senior, 60, and his wife Shirley, 66, and their son Tommy, 29, were all banned from keeping horses for 10 years at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court last week (August 14, 2012).
Dunn Sr and Dunn Jr were both fined £5,000 each and Shirley Dunn was ordered to pay costs of £500 after they all pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing in their duty of care under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.
Eight native ponies were removed from the family’s property in the village of Ash in Kent in March after numerous visits. They were found in a dark barn with no access to food or water and many of the ponies were tethered so tightly that they were unable to lie down.
The animals were examined by a vet and they were found to be dehydrated and riddled with red worm, before they were removed under the provisions of the act.
Claire Gordon of World Horse Welfare said: "This is a good result for the horses. Had the owners in this case listened to the advice given by the RSPCA and us on previous visits these horses would not be in this condition and the RSPCA would not have had to prosecute.
"Prosecution is always a last resort as we prefer to work with horse owners to improve welfare. But in this case the owners did not listen to our repeated advice, which was met with hostility and sometimes aggression. Thankfully, the horses are now safe and doing well."
As well as a 10-year ban and costs, Dunn Snr and Dunn Jr were given 200 hours of community service while Shirley Dunn was conditionally discharged for two years.
Picture courtesy of the RSPCA