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Fine for horse neglect

4 Nov 2011
Wriggles

A Stirling man who failed to provide treatment for his horse's severe hoof disease has been fined £450.

George Adam, 69, a retired farmer of Muirton Park Farm, Bannockburn, was sentenced at Stirling Sheriff Court on Thursday (3 November).

Adam admitted causing his fifteen-year-old chestnut mare, Wriggles, unnecessary suffering from an unknown date to 6 September 2010 by failing to seek veterinary attention for her chronic laminitis, a very painful condition which causes inflammation and weakening of the laminal structures and bonds within the hoof. As a result, the laminae pull away from the hoof wall and the pedal bone is no longer supported, causing it to rotate and potentially drop down through the hoof capsule.

We investigated Adam after receiving a complaint from a member of the public in September 2010.

His horse was unable to move, had severely overgrown hooves and was overweight.

Inspector Leanne McPake said, "Wriggles was in extreme pain as a result of her laminitis and needed nerve blocks in all four legs to allow her to move.

"It took us three days to stabilise her so we could move her from the farm to one of our centres.

"Although horses can recover in some cases if laminitis is treated immediately, the disease was so far advanced that Wriggles did not respond to treatment during seven weeks in our care.

"Sadly, the equine veterinary advice was her chances of recovery were nil and she should be to put to sleep to end her suffering.

"Adam showed complete ignorance in providing even the basic care required for his horse. He also failed to have Wriggles' hooves trimmed in fifteen years, which is recommended every six to eight weeks, and they were in a horrific state.

"While we have to accept the decisions of the courts, given the nature of this case we would have supported a ban on keeping animals, ideally for life.

"This was a tragic outcome and one which could have been avoided had Wriggles received the treatment she so desperately needed long before we intervened."