Jury shown dead and starving horses (UK)

Cross-posted by Yahoo News for UK and Ireland

A jury has seen pictures and video footage of horses allegedly left to starve on a family-run farm.

The images, taken by RSPCA inspectors when they were called to Spindle Farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, show an emaciated horse, another animal just before it was put to sleep and one that had collapsed. Another picture shows a pile of skulls and bones.

Bicester Magistrates’ Court was also shown video footage of collapsed and dead animals in various locations on the property.

The court heard that inspectors discovered the animals living on the farm run by 45-year-old horse trader James Gray.

He is on trial alongside his wife, Julie Gray, 41, his daughters, Jodie Gray, 26, and Cordelia Gray, 20, and another person who cannot be named.

They deny 12 charges under the Animal Welfare Act which relate to causing unnecessary suffering to and failing to meet the welfare needs of horses, ponies and donkeys.

Inspectors discovered the scene after being called to Spindle Farm on January 4 this year.

RSPCA chief inspector Rob Skinner said he found 32 carcasses on the farm, some burnt and dumped on a bonfire and others were left lying on the ground covered in rubbish.

The inspector said he and his colleagues returned to the farm over several days and found more bodies and put down more animals because of the condition they were in.

On one day they discovered a pile of seven horse skulls next to a gate and on another occasion they removed 97 horses from the property.

At times Mr Gray became aggressive towards those carrying out the inspection, shouting “loudly and abusively”, Mr Skinner said. UK Yahoo News, ITN >>

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