A British man man has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after admitting causing his horse named Bluey to suffer unnecessarily.
Bluey was euthanized because of her poor condition, the British RSPCA said.
William O’Reilly, 62, of St Thomas Road Caravan Park, Stopsley, was sentenced in the Luton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. As well as the ban, he was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, which was suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay costs of £1000
The court heard that Bluey was found in April 2013 in a field off Mangrove Green, Cockenhoe.
The 14.2-hand grey and white mare had been heavily pregnant but, having been left with a severe worm infestation, she miscarried her almost full-term foal.
Bluey was wearing a rug that had not been removed in six weeks – her bones and emaciated frame were visible through the material.
In addition, she had impacted mud in her hooves, meaning she could not stand properly and had severe thrush in all four hooves.
Bluey collapsed soon after she was found and was euthanized on veterinary advice to prevent her from suffering further.
O’Reilly said he did not realise that Bluey was pregnant.
“This poor horse was riddled with worms and was emaciated,” RSPCA inspector Tina Ward said. “It may be that was why the foal didn’t survive – her body was so weak it just could not cope.
“We had advised Bluey’s owner about appropriate care regarding other horses on previous occasions and he should have known how to provide her with appropriate care, or at least sought help before it was too late.
“This suffering could so easily have been avoided – all she needed was the right care from the owner on whom she depended.”
O’Reilly had admitted causing unnecessary suffering between March 9 and April 9 this year by failing to investigate and address the causes of Bluey’s poor body condition and weight loss; failing to meet her welfare needs over the condition of her hooves; and failing to provide adequate care and supervision relating to her pregnancy.