A man has been banned from keeping horses for ten years after allowing a headcollar to become very badly embedded in a pony’s head, causing a severe wound which became infested with maggots.
Patrick Eagle, of Deans Road, Wolverhampton, appeared before Birmingham Magistrates court for sentencing on Monday 9 March 2020. He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
The court banned the defendant from keeping horses for ten years, gave him a 12-week suspended sentence, ordered him to pay a contribution towards prosecution costs of £400 and ordered him to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.
The pony came to the attention of World Horse Welfare when Field Officer Charlotte Melvin visited a group of cobs near Walsall after a member of the public reported concerns for their welfare. Charlotte noticed a strong smell of infection when she approached the last pony on the site during a visit in October 2019.
On closer inspection Charlotte discovered that the pony, a piebald colt estimated to be around two years of age, had a severely embedded headcollar. The wound was very badly infected and full of maggots.
Charlotte contacted the RSPCA, police, local vets and a transporter. The pony, later named Moses, was removed under Section 18.5 of the Animal Welfare Act and transported to the vets for urgent treatment. He remained there for four days due to the extent of the injury caused by the headcollar, before being transported to World Horse Welfare Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre.
Moses made a full recovery from his injury in the expert care of the Penny Farm team and will be found a new home via the charity’s rehoming scheme when he is ready.
“Given how horrific the wound from his headcollar was, I’m really happy with the recovery Moses has made. Moses’ suffering could so easily have been prevented and it’s awful to think that he could have been left like that if someone hadn’t cared enough to report the situation.
“If anyone ever has concerns for a horse’s welfare they should call our Welfare Line on 0300 333 6000 with first-hand current information. Thanks to the person who reported him, Moses is now happy and healthy and will be able to find a loving new home through our rehoming scheme.”