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Fine for causing unnecessary suffering to 12-year-old pony

The laminitic mare was surrendered to the Irish SPCA and euthanized after a veterinary assessment. Photo: ISPCA.

This laminitic mare was surrendered to the Irish SPCA and euthanized after a veterinary assessment. © ISPCA

A man in Ireland has admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a 12-year-old laminitic mare, later euthanised on veterinary advice.

Ben Flood, of Church Court, Castledermott, Kildare, was ordered to pay costs of €350 and a contribution of €200 to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the pony.

The case, heard in Carlow District Court, dated back to December 2012 when ISPCA inspector Michael Keane was alerted to a pony that was having extreme difficulty in moving.

Keane visited the mare and could see that she was showing the classic signs of laminitis. The condition was aggravated by the fact that the pony was severely overweight and her hooves were overgrown by about 10 centimetres.

The ISPCA made contact with Flood and secured her surrender.

She was transferred to the charity’s National Animal Centre, where she was x-rayed and assessed by a specialist equine veterinarian.

Unfortunately, there was significant damage to the bone structure of the hooves. Due to the chronic nature of the condition, coupled with the significant pain the pony was enduring, she was euthanized on humane grounds.

“Sadly, there wasn’t a positive outcome for the pony,” said Keane, “but at least the person responsible for her suffering has been held accountable.

“While medical conditions such as laminitis can arise, animal owners have a duty to ensure that they are treated and managed as effectively as possible. In this case, that simply didn’t happen.”

The mare's hooves were overgrown by 10 centimetres, according to the ISPCA. Photo: ISPCA

The mare’s hooves were overgrown by 10 centimetres, according to the ISPCA. © ISPCA

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