A mother and daughter have been banned from keeping all animals after causing unnecessary suffering to three horses in their care.
Sally-Anne Rix, 48, and Louise Rix, 19, both from Norfolk, were found guilty of neglecting the needs of the horses and received a 15-year ban from keeping all animals.
Elf, a dark bay thoroughbred, Sprite, a chestnut thoroughbred mare and Pixie, a bay mare, were deemed to be suffering to such an extent they were taken into care. All were extremely underweight and infested with lice, with Elf and Pixie scoring body conditions of just 1 and 0.5.
Investigations revealed Sally Rix had an existing ban
on keeping equines and was banned for 10 years in 2012. The pair were each previously found guilty of 13 different offences
under the Animal Welfare Act – all relating to the neglect of equine welfare.
The RSPCA was called in April last year with concerns about horses kept at sites at Spa Common and Southrepps in North Walsham and worked closely with Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Inspector Ben Kirby said: “It was a harrowing experience seeing them like this and I am so pleased justice has now been done and we can save these horses, and hopefully others in the future from a similar fate.
“These poor horses all had lice, were extremely underweight, had terrible problems with their feet and, in general, were just in a horrible condition.
“Pixie was completely lame in her right foreleg and suffering from colic as a result, but still trying to stand on it, which must have been incredibly painful.”
As well as the ban, the pair were each given an eight-week suspended prison sentence, 80 hours’ community service and fined £180.
Julie Harding, Redwings senior field officer said: “We are absolutely thrilled at the outcome in this case. The level of cruelty and neglect was appalling and yet both defendants seemed oblivious to the suffering they had caused.
“They showed a complete disregard for even the most basic equine care and showed no respect for their horses and their needs.”
All three horses were taken to Redwings headquarters near Norwich and have since made a full recovery.