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Man banned after tethered filly left to suffer
A man has been banned from participating in keeping, dealing, or transporting horses for two years after he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a filly who had been left tethered in the New Forest.
Jason Cooper (date of birth: 23/11/1974) of Pound Road, Pennington, was sentenced when he appeared before magistrates in Southampton on Friday (5 October).
- Tippee undergoing rehabilitation at Glenda Spooner Farm
He had been found guilty at an earlier hearing of three charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to a piebald filly tethered next to a stallion at Admiralty Way in Marchwood between December 2017 and January 2018.
Tippee - who was given her name by World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Penny Baker, due to being found close to a rubbish dump was discovered in an emaciated condition, covered in lice, and tethered in a completely unsuitable environment.
-Tippee when she was found, January 2018
World Horse Welfare was alerted to Tippee’s plight when a caller to the charity’s welfare line got in touch about a stallion who was tethered nearby and had escaped. Field Officer, Penny Baker, said:
“A concerned member of the public called our welfare line to report a stallion tethered which kept escaping but when I arrived, I immediately noticed Tippee tethered just six metres away on the same embankment and in a terrible state. She was very wobbly on her feet, weak and even though she had a thick winter coat I could see the sharp angles of her bones underneath which indicated that she was seriously underweight. She was incredibly sweet natured but clearly in need of urgent veterinary treatment so upon veterinary advice, she was taken into possession by police.
“This embankment is a popular spot where we often see tethered horses but it is also incredibly dangerous. It’s a very steep hill with only a small area which is relatively flat with sheer drops on both sides and poor quality grazing. It is completely unsuitable for keeping horses and I would hope that this would deter others from using this same site.
- Tippee after rehabilitation
“Tippee’s owner had purchased her a few weeks earlier and had then been unable to find suitable grazing so had resorted to tethering in this location. He had clearly not been providing for her needs and she is very lucky to have survived the severe redworm infestation she was suffering from. If anyone is planning to purchase a horse, it is imperative they ensure they have access to good quality grazing and a suitable place to keep their equine before they take one into their care.
“Tippee is now thriving in the care of World Horse Welfare’s Glenda Spooner Farm and will be looking for a new home in the near future.”
RSPCA inspector Tina Ward, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said:
“Tippee was being kept in inappropriate conditions and her basic needs were not being met. She was in poor bodily conditions, her hooves and teeth were in an awful state, and she had an untreated lice infestation.
“Cooper had been the owner of Tippee for just five weeks and had already been told to remove her from the common by the Agisters because of her poor bodily condition.
“The standard of care fell well below that of a reasonable owner. Cooper had a lifetime of experience of owning and keeping horses and should have known no horse should have been left to suffer in the way Tippee had been.”
- Tippee when she was found January 2018
“All horses need daily care and attention and especially those that are tethered. The practice of tethering horses, whilst far from ideal, is not illegal in this country, so owners who choose to keep their horses this way must go the extra mile to ensure all the horse’s welfare needs are being met.
“I am grateful to all the organisations who were involved in this case and did all they could to help give Tippee the second chance she deserves.”
Alongside the disqualification for keeping animals for two years, Cooper was ordered to pay £460.