Expert Jenifer Gold testifies in Leachman horse abuse trial. Photo: Bob Zellar.

Leg bands not humane testifies expert in Leachman trial

PHOTO CREDIT: BOB ZELLAR/GAZETTE STAFF
Expert Jenifer Gold testifies Wednesday in Leachman horse abuse trial.

Cross-posted from the Billings Gazette

WRITTEN BY JAN FALSTAD

A nationally recognized horse specialist testified Wednesday at James Leachman’s animal abuse trial that unbreakable plastic identification bands should not be used on horses, especially those running loose on the range.

Missoula-based veterinarian Jenifer Gold, who taught equine science at Texas A&M University and worked for five years at horse operations along the Persian Gulf, said she would have recommended that all five Leachman horses he’s charged with abusing be euthanized.

They were suffering and in pain, she said, mostly from identification leg bands that cut into their flesh. Four of the five horses involved in this case were found dead or were humanely shot two years ago.

In January 2011, the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office charged the Billings cattle and horse breeder with five charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty. The trial started in Justice Court on Monday.

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