10 year ban for Lancashire breeder

10 year ban for Lancashire breeder

Rescued mare and foal doing well at Penny Farm. Photo courtesy of World Horse Welfare.

Following the deaths of four horses, Steven Lee, 27, from Preston has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years, fined £5,000, and given 100 hours of community service by Blackpool Magistrates Court. The known traveller pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a group of horses in his care.

Two of Steven’s ten horses were left to a die in a local field and vets were forced to put down two more, leaving six remaining which subsequently removed by the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare. These six horses were transferred to the World Horse Welfare’s nearby Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Blackpool, Penny Farm, to begin their rehabilitation.

 John Cunningham, World Horse Welfare’s Field Officer for the North West, describes the condition the horses were found in, “These horses, all young mares, were living in a field during the winter with no shelter, the weather was atrocious, it was snowing and they had very little to eat or drink.”

 “After examination from vets it became apparent that several of the horses were suffering from a severe parasite infestation.” This group of horses, owned by Mr Lee, had the worst case of worm infestation John had ever seen, yet could have been so easily avoided.

 Prosecutors said that Mr Lee failed to provide adequate veterinary care and worming medication in order to protect his horses from pain and suffering.

 One of the rescued mares was in foal. Luckily and thanks to a lot of care and attention from World Horse Welfare, mum and baby are doing well at Penny Farm stables, as are the other five. The charity hopes that it will be able to rehome these horses to a safe, new home in the future.

 This dreadful story is sadly typical of the types of cases that the charity is seeing more of as part of the horse crisis where currently 7,000 equines are at risk of abandonment and neglect.

Since the beginning of the year World Horse Welfare has seen a 40% increase in the number of horses coming into its centres; this number continues to rise on a daily basis. See more about the horse crisis here: http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Emerging-Horse-Crisis