Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has stressed that it operates a “rigorous enforcement policy” when it comes to the welfare of domestic pets and horses.
The local authority issued the warning this week after taking a successful prosecution against a horse owner for causing unnecessary suffering to a gelding.
The woman has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service and banned from keeping animals for five years. She has also been ordered to pay costs totalling more than £9,000.
Council Animal Welfare Officers responded to a complaint on November 15, 2016 concerning the welfare of horses that were being kept in a field on the Hillhall Road in Lisburn.
The complainant had stated that the horses were drinking dirty water and that their hooves were damaged.
When the Animal Welfare Officer arrived at the field there were five horses located. One was lame and the others required veterinary attention for cracked hooves.
The council’s Animal Welfare Officer made contact with the owner of the horses, Ms Jacqueline Boyd.
On November 23, 2016, after receiving no response from Ms Boyd, formerly of Princess Way Portadown, the Animal Welfare Officer returned to the field accompanied by a veterinary surgeon to examine the condition of the horses.
The vet provided emergency pain relief to one horse, noted that the field had been overgrazed and there was no evidence to suggest the horses were receiving additional feed. The vet recommended seizure of a bay horse.
Following this veterinary advice, the council served Ms Boyd with an Improvement Notice for the four remaining horses, which she complied with.
On January 16, 2018 Ms Boyd was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a bay gelding contrary to Section 4 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 and failing to meet the needs of the same horse contrary to Section 9. She was ordered to do 240 hours community service and to pay costs totalling £9,386.09.
It’s understood Ms Boyd has lodged a Notice of Appeal in respect of the conviction and sentence.
Ms Boyd was given a five-year ban from owning, keeping, participating in the keeping of or being party to an arrangement under which she is entitled to control or influence the way in which animals are kept.
“Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses. It operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements,” a council spokesperson said.
“Animal welfare complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary offenders are prosecuted.”