An East Yorkshire mum and dad who neglected their horses, letting two of them eat to the point they became clinically obese, have appeared before the courts.
Anthony Quinn, 50, and Dawn Dixon, 42, left the horses to roam in a rich pasture owned by Quinn, Hull Magistrates' Court heard on Monday.
A third horse was found suffering from sweet itch - an allergic reaction to bites from mosquitos and midges- and also had injures around its muzzle and eyes.
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Quinn and Dixon - a mother to ten children with her youngest just 11 weeks old - appeared before the court on Monday.
The pair, who live at Grandsmore, Driffied and are married, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, and four counts of failing in the duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare at Hull Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Philip Brown, prosecuting, told the court Quinn owned a field in the vicinity of Backcarr Lane, Nafferton. Together with Dixon, they were caring for three horses - Billy, Rolo and and unnamed mare.
Between March 16, 2019 and July 16, 2019, the couple caused unnecessary suffering to the unnamed mare by failing to adequately investigate and address the causes and symptoms of skin diseases, including sunburn and sweet itch, the court heard.
They also failed to ensure the proper dietary needs of the horses were met.
Mr Brown said: "Unusual to normal cases of animal neglect, the horses were left to roam freely in a rich pasture, causing two of them to become clinically obese.
"Poisonous plants were found growing on the field, which if the horses had consumed, would have caused them liver damage."
The three horses were found with parasitic worms in their bodies, which showed a failure to provide an adequate or effective parasitic worm control programme.
They couple had additionally failed to maintain the hooves of the horses which were overgrown and had become infected, leading to the development of thrush. An X-ray on one of the horse's legs also showed the bones in his legs had been shifted because of this.
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â€œThey would have suffered if they continued to stay in that environment,â€ Mr Brown said.
RSPCA inspectors had visited and left the couple several notices warning them to take action for the welfare of their horses, but they subsequently ignored it.
Eventually police attended and took the horses into their possession.
In mitigation, their defence solicitor told the court Quinn was not working and was not in receipt of universal credit.
Dixon had several young children and therefore received a payout, but after expenses, she is left with only Â£40 fortnightly.
The proceedings have caused Dixon a great deal of anxiety and she has suffered a personal loss because of it, the court heard.
Magistrates sentenced Quinn to a two-year community order and ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
Dixon was given a Â£280 fine.
The pair have been disqualified from keeping horses and similar animals for five years.
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