Man banned from keeping horses for 20 years after severely neglecting foal

A man has been banned from keeping horses for 20 years after severely neglecting a foal in his care near Attleborough

A man has been banned from keeping horses for 20 years after severely neglecting a foal in his care near Attleborough - Credit: NCC Trading Standards

A man in his 30s has been banned from keeping horses for 20 years after severely neglecting a foal in his care.

Oliver Jones, formerly of Leys Lane, Attleborough, pleaded guilty at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (May 12) to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. 

A vet who examined the emaciated horse had found that it was suffering multiple health issues caused by the neglect.

King's Lynn magistrates court/crown court Picture: Chris Bishop

Oliver Jones pleaded guilty at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court - Credit: Chris Bishop

The mother of the foal had developed a chronic heart defect as a result of Jones' mistreatment, which later led to her death.  

The process of the 31-year-old's conviction began in July 2019, when World Horse Welfare (WHW) contacted Norfolk County Council's trading standards team.

Due to the serious nature of the charity's concerns, council officers and staff from WHW visited the site, near Attleborough, a day later. 

They discovered a mare and foal in a small paddock containing a total of 13 horses.

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The paddock had no grass, was full of muck and Jones had left rubbish lying around. 

Hercules, the foal who was neglected near Attleborough, is now enjoying life with World Horse Welfare

Hercules, the foal who was neglected near Attleborough, is now enjoying life with World Horse Welfare - Credit: NCC Trading Standards

A vet who examined the mare and foal was so concerned they were immediately taken away for urgent treatment. 

A thorough inspection identified multiple health issues caused by a failure to seek veterinary advice on basic care, nutrition, worming and for the malformation of the foal’s legs. 

The foal, now named Hercules, has recovered well in the care of WHW. 

Sophie Leney, head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, said: "This is a satisfactory outcome of a very sad case.

"It’s very welcome that Mr Jones will be disqualified from owning or keeping animals following the neglect and suffering he caused.

Sophie Leney, head of Trading Standards at Norfolk County Council. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sophie Leney, head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards - Credit: Archant

"In this extreme case there was no choice but to seize the animal immediately and take him to a place of safety.

"We would like to thank World Horse Welfare for their invaluable assistance in this matter."

Jones, who now lives in Peterborough, was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and will not be permitted to keep horses for the next two decades.

To report a welfare issue on a farm, call Citizens Advice on 03454 040 506.

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