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Brothers left severely lame ponies untreated – RSPCA

Merlin and Hobby were euthanised because of their negelected feet. Photo: © RSPCA

Merlin and Hobby were euthanised because of their neglected feet. Photo: © RSPCA

Two Shetland ponies were found with such overgrown hooves they could not walk, the British RSPCA says. The pair were euthanised to end their suffering.

Brothers Matthew and David Twigg, from Andover in Hampshire, have been banned for five years from owning or keeping horses following court action over the care of Merlin and Hobby.

Matthew Twigg was also given a five-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months, and his brother was ordered to undertake 65 hours of unpaid work.

They were also ordered to pay £2726.94 in costs.

The pair were sentenced after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the ponies.

RSPCA Inspector Will Hendry visited a property on September 9 last year after concerns were raised about Merlin, a 25-year-old grey male, and Hobby, a 15-year-old female.

The bones in their feet had started to disintegrate, the RSPCA said.

Two brothers were prosecuted over the treatment of Merlin and Hobby. Photo:  © RSPCA

Two brothers were prosecuted over the treatment of Merlin and Hobby. Photo: © RSPCA

Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court was told that when Merlin was examined by a farrier and a vet he had been in such severe pain that he had to be put to sleep to end his suffering.

X-rays later showed that the pedal bone in each of his feet had started to disintegrate due to chronic laminitis.

Hobby was taken to an equine hospital the next day, where she was exhibiting signs of extreme pain in all four feet.

Her X-rays also showed that the pedal bones had rotated and started to disintegrate. She was also put to sleep to end her suffering.

“The situation for the ponies when we got to their stable was hopeless,” Hendry said.

“They had been suffering chronically for up to five years and yet nobody, either within the family or without, thought to get them any help or pain relief.”

Horsetalk.co.nz

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