RSPCA anger after overfed horses die

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A man who pleaded guilty to five charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals now has a suspended custodial sentence hanging over his head.

Reginald Jordan, 55, of Uxbridge, was found to have overfed the horses he kept in Hemel Hempstead’s Fennycroft Road after an intervention by the RSPCA on August 17 last year.

One horse was found dead in the field, while another horse was later removed and had to be euthanised.

At St Albans Magistrates Court on Friday, Mark Jones, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said instances of overfeeding were sometimes related to the issuing of horses into the meat trade. Magistrate Peter Stanley, however, dismissed this point due to lack of evidence. Mr Stanley, addressing Mr Jordan, said: “We do not judge you to be an evil individual, but something went very badly wrong in your thinking and you now have to pay the price.”

Mr Jordan, who had already been deprived of the horses and disqualified from keeping any others for five years, was sentenced to a total of 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay veterinary costs of £2,983.12.

RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith said: “I do not think the punishment reflects the severity of the investigation. Any experienced horse owner, as Mr Jordan was, would be aware of the danger of giving them large quantities of bread. The suffering could have been avoided if he had acted on RSPCA advice.”