Three members of the same family have been banned from keeping horses after repeatedly ignoring advice from welfare charities. All three pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing in their duty of care.

Three members of the same family have been banned from keeping horses after repeatedly ignoring advice from welfare charities.

Tommy Dunn Senior, aged 60, wife Shirley, 66, and their 29-year-old son Tommy were banned from keeping horses for 10 years at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court last week (August 14, 2012).

The Dunn's ponies were discovered in a dark barn with no access to food or water.Dunn Sr and Dunn Jr were each fined £5,000 while Shirley Dunn was ordered to pay £500 costs after all three pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing in their duty of care under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

After numerous visits to the Dunns property in the village of Ash in Kent, eight native ponies were removed from the premises in March.

The ponies were found in a dark barn with no access to food and water with many tethered so tightly they were unable to lie down. Dehydrated and riddled with red worm, the animals were examined by a vet before being removed under the provisions of the act.

Claire Gordon of World Horse Welfare said: “This is a good result for the horses. Had the owners in this case listened to the advice given by the RSPCA and us on previous visits these horses would not be in this condition and the RSPCA would not have had to prosecute.

Prosecution is always a last resort as we prefer to work with horse owners to improve welfare. But in this case the owners did not listen to our repeated advice, which was met with hostility and sometimes aggression. Thankfully, the horses are now safe and doing well.”

As well as a 10-year ban and costs, Dunn Snr and Dunn Jr were given 200 hours of community service while Shirley Dunn was conditionally discharged for two years.

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