Suspended jail term for Shropshire woman after horses suffer

horse welfare, RSPCA rescue horses while owner given suspended jail sentence

Suspended jail term for Shropshire woman after horses suffer

A Shropshire woman has been handed a six-month suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping almost all animals following the mistreatment of six equines in her care.

Vanessa Roll, 49 – of Albert Road, Albrighton – pleaded guilty to 12 Animal Welfare Act offences and was sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (21 July).

She was given a six-month suspended jail term, ordered to do a 20-day Rehabilitation Activity requirement, 60 hours of unpaid work, and banned from keeping all animals – except for dogs – for the rest of her life. Roll was also told to pay £400 in costs and a £156 victim surcharge.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Perehovsky found the horses at Yew Tree Farm on Wharf Road in Adbaston, Staffordshire with a series of welfare concerns – with one bay colt, Michael,  found collapsed and largely unresponsive in a field on arrival, with his ribs visible through his skin.

Four horses suffered as a consequence of Roll’s lack of appropriate care – the bay colt named Michael, a black mare known as Lizzie, a black mare called Phil and bay mare Stardance.

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Roll failed to deal with rain scald and dental care to three of the horses, while Michael had a chronic foot abscess and Lizzie suffered from poor bodily condition and weight loss.

In total, Roll admitted failing to meet the needs of six horses – including a chestnut mare called Nancy and a chestnut colt known as Chucky.

Unfortunately, Lizzy and Phil were put to sleep due to the extent of their injuries, while Nancy did not survive after being admitted to an equine hospital with grass sickness. However, the other three horses survived.

Some of the horses in Roll’s care were on loan – and are back in the care of their owners, meaning these horses have a “second chance of happiness”.

RSPCA inspector Natalie said:

I found these poor horses in a really bad way – and sadly four suffered due to a combination of factors, including very poor bodily condition, dental issues, infected wounds and rain scald.

Some of the horses in Roll’s care were on loan – so this sad case reminds us of the importance of any equine owners always being very mindful of where they place their animals.

The environment at this stud in Adbaston was far from appropriate; and sadly this case only underlines what can go wrong if horses aren’t cared for properly.

Thankfully, some of these horses survived and now have a second chance of happiness – but these problems could have been avoided had these animals been given the veterinary care they needed, and a suitable environment to live in.”

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Everything Horse Magazine Issue 43, July 2021

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