Neglect of Horses' Feet Leads to Prosecution
Monday, 12th January, Charles and Gillian Harwood were before Cheltenham
Magistrates Court for causing unnecessary suffering to 5 horses
in their care.
& Mrs Harwood of Four Shires Stone Farm, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos
pleaded guilty to the charges. Because of exceptional mitigating
circumstances the Magistrates gave the couple 3 years conditional
discharge and ordered to pay £1,464.25p costs between them.
a call to the ILPH, Field Officer Peter Griffiths visited the farm
on 2 November 2000 to investigate. He found a number of stallions
who, although living in filthy conditions, were in reasonable bodily
condition. After several visits from him and following his advice,
conditions at the farm steadily improved. Then, due to the onset
of Foot and Mouth Disease he could no longer visit as there were
cattle on the premises.
in the area at the beginning of 2003 Peter decided to visit Four
Shires Stone Farm again to make sure that the horses' good welfare
was being maintained. He found 5 stabled stallions all of whom had
extremely long feet that turned up like Turkish slippers with Metynas,
one of the older stallions, coughing badly.
Peter, "I was appalled at the state of the horses' feet they
were so long they were crippling the poor creatures. I returned
later that afternoon with the RSPCA and a vet and after examination
it was decided that two of the stallions, due to the condition of
their feet, were irrecoverable and that they should be euthanased.
Metynas was also put down at the request of the owner.
horses' feet did not grow that long over night. All horses, and
stabled horses in particular, need regular visits from a farrier
to keep their feet trimmed. It was blatantly obvious that these
horses had not been seen by a farrier for many, many months. There
really is no excuse for neglect on this scale."