Community order for woman who left lamb to suffer with broken leg

The lamb after treatment
The lamb after treatment
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An Essex woman has been sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to a lamb for failing to treat the animal’s broken leg.

Joanna Smith, of Alexandra Road, Sible Hedingham, pleaded guilty to one allegation of causing unnecessary suffering to the lamb by failing to treat the injury, under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

She was sentenced at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (1 November) to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay £300 in court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

RSPCA inspector Adam Jones, who investigated, said: “Ms Smith ran a petting farm from land she rented.

“We were contacted by the landowner in May over concerns for the welfare of the lamb which had a leg injury.

“The caller had told Ms Smith the lamb was injured and needed veterinary treatment but she didn’t do anything. Even when he caught the lamb and confined it for her, she still didn’t arrange for a vet to visit so we were alerted.

“Luckily, we were able to treat the injury and the lamb was rehomed successfully.”

Ms Smith has now been evicted from the land at Greenstead Green in Halstead.

Inspector Jones added: “There is no excuse for leaving any animal with such a serious injury without any veterinary attention or treatment.

“As the lamb’s owner, it was Ms Smith’s responsibility to ensure that this sheep - and all her other animals - had the appropriate veterinary care and, in this instance, she failed to do so.

“However, she did admit in court that it was a mistake and a one-off incident, and the court felt that it was not necessary to remove all the animals from her care or to interfere with her livelihood running a petting farm.

“This little lamb was signed over into our care and, after recovering from his broken leg, was rehomed.”