A pony’s owner has been banned from keeping horses for ten years after allowing a headcollar to become very badly embedded in the pony’s head, causing a severe wound which became infected and infested with maggots. The pony’s owner pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Patrick Eagle, of Deans Road, Wolverhampton, appeared before Birmingham Magistrates court for sentencing on Monday 9 March 2020 having previously pleaded guilty. The court banned him 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, now named as Moses, 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.
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 in Lancashire.
Charlotte said: “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.”