Larne man sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering to horse

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Larne man John Desmond Connolly, age 29, of Garron Walk, has been sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates Court, after pleading guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering of a horse for which he was responsible.

The charges were brought against Connolly by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011. The charges related to findings following an investigation by Animal Welfare Officers regarding offences, which concerned a horse with an untreated oozing abscess on the ‘frog’ of its hoof caused by an old steel nail.

The condition of the horse was such that as to prevent further suffering and pain, upon veterinary advice the horse was euthanized

After considering the representations made on behalf of Connolly, District Judge King acknowledged that the defendant had difficult financial circumstances and imposed a £500 fine, together with legal and court costs of £184. Council’s application for a disqualification order was rejected by the Magistrate.

A Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson said: “Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

“Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices or, in extreme cases, the seizure of animals.

“The Council may also prosecute for offences such as in this particularly serious case, which serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”