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Man Jailed and Given A Lifetime Ban From Keeping Animals After 33 Horses Are Rescued From His Care

John Michael Humphrey, aged 32, from Thorpe Willoughby has been sentenced to jail and banned for life from keeping animal, after 33 horses were found and rescued from his care.

He pleaded guilty to 25 offences under the Animal Welfare Act when appearing at the Selby Magistrates Court on Wednesday 24th October.

All the offences related to the 33 horses and donkeys that were being kept in a field off Main Street, Godwall, a field by the A63 Selby bypass and also a field off Hillam Road, Gateforth.

Both RSPCA inspectors Alice Cooper and Claire Mitchell said
that the case was ‘complicated’ due to the number of animals and different areas that they were being kept.

“Many of them were suffering and needed urgent veterinary attention, and some of them had to be immediately hospitalised. Two horses were so poorly they had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice, and a third died giving birth such was her poor condition,” said Inspector Cooper.

“Those who weren’t suffering were likely to if their circumstances didn’t change due to the extremely dirty or hazardous environments they were living in, absence of clean, fresh drinking water and lack of suitable food source.”

The first nine horses were sized on the 7th April by police. The RSPCA had previously inspected the feild and found that the horses kept in the field off Main Street were living among various hazards. Many of the horses were pregnant and only had access to water from dirty pond and puddle water.

At the field near the A63 on the 22nd
May a mare and foal were found to be very ill, suffering from acute colic. The mare had to be put to sleep the next day and a further four horses were seized.

At the open barns on Hillam Road horses were surviving on rotten food and maggot infested water. As a
result 18 horses and two donkeys were seized from their ‘disgusting’ conditions and one filly had to be put down.

“A three-year-old black filly was in a terrible state. It was obvious within a few minutes of watching her bumping into things that there was an issue with her sight. She was completely blind in one eye and had limited vision in the other, which was very sore. She had overgrown feet, discharge coming from one of her nostrils, respiratory issues and a lice and lice-eggs infestation. The vet decided she needed to be put to sleep to end her suffering.”