Thomas Tony Price of Glamorgan Horse Traders found guilty at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court for offences to 27 horses a month after two sons found guilty for similar crimes.

A horse trader has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to, and failing to meet the needs of, 27 horses – a month after his two sons were also found guilty of offences to the same group of animals.

The Prices had been advised by the RSPCA and other charities to keep their horse numbers down and to control breeding (file image).Thomas Tony Price, 49, of Glan Y Mor Lane, Wick, Vale of Glamorgan, was found guilty of a total of 57 offences at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on June 14 (2013). His eldest son, 25-year-old Thomas Hope Price, had already pleaded guilty at the same court in May (2013) to 42 charges, including causing unnecessary suffering to 18 horses, and a second son, 19-year-old Tony John Price, had also admitted to failing to meet the welfare needs of both a piebald cob colt and a piebald filly.

Price Senior is the director of Glamorgan Horse Traders and his elder son Thomas Price is listed as secretary. The business deals in horses across the UK, Europe and America and is thought to own around 2,500 horses at various locations throughout Wales and the west of England.

The offences in the case relate to 27 gypsy cob-type ponies which were removed from five different locations across the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend after being found underweight and poorly. Twelve of them were found locked in a barn with no space or access to food or water.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), it and other charities had previously advised the Prices to keep their horse numbers down and manage breeding, as they could not guarantee the care arrangements of most of the animals.

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said:  “These horses turned out to be the most poorly and diseased horses I have come across. It is my belief that the 12 in the barn had been left there to die.

“These horses were suffering but there are hundreds of other horses across Wales and England that may not be suffering, but are just being left to illegally graze and indiscriminately breed. It really is a massive problem that we struggle to deal with day after day.

“We worked closely with Bridgend County Council throughout this case and its assistance was pivotal in securing [this] result.”  

The RSPCA believes the case highlights what it calls “enormous problems” faced by welfare charities and the Government as it deals with “irresponsible horse ownership across Wales and England”.

The animal welfare charity has just released its report – On the Verge – In the Grip of a Continuing Equine Crisis – which reveals the number of horses deemed at risk of needing rescue or new homes is now around 7,000, which is a rise of 1,000 in six months.

To read the report, click here.

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