Category Archives: donkeys

Rhuallt, Denbighshire: Michael Stephen Walsh

#TheList Michael Stephen Walsh, born 15/04/1964, of Bryntirion, Rhuallt, St Asaph, Denbighshire LL17 0TG – caused suffering to two little donkeys by leaving their severely overgrown hooves unkempt

Michael Walsh's donkeys' hooves were so overgrown, they struggled to walk
Michael Walsh’s donkeys’ hooves were so overgrown, they struggled to walk

Millionaire Michael Stephen Walsh changed his earlier plea to admit the Animal Welfare Act offence and was sentenced at Mold Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.

Another individual [most likely his wife, Judith Walsh] accepted a caution for their involvement in the poor care of the donkeys.

The RSPCA was notified of the case after members of the public saw the male donkeys with the severely overgrown hooves, causing them difficulty to walk. Veterinary examination discovered the hooves were in such poor condition that the donkeys endured suffering.

Michael Walsh's donkeys' hooves were so overgrown, they struggled to walk

Donkeys thrive in semi-arid parts of the world, where the ground is dry and stony. Their hooves are much more efficient than horses at absorbing water, but this means the wet pasture of the UK can make their feet soft and cause foot diseases.

Most donkeys’ hooves require a trim every six to 10 weeks.

RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “The failure to provide adequate care for these donkeys’ overgrown hooves caused them to suffer.

“It is really sad how such basic action could have prevented this. A simple phone call to a farrier could have stopped these poor donkeys suffering.

“Fortunately, both donkeys will come into the care of the RSPCA and have a second chance of happiness. But this case reminds us how important proper appropriate care of hooves is for donkeys, and other equines.”

Sentencing:
Walsh was fined £650 and ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge. He agreed to sign the animals into the care of the RSPCA.

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Michael Stephen Walsh, with his brother Sean, set up lucrative business Anglia insurance repairs, which they sold for £37m in 2007.

Michael Walsh's donkeys' hooves were so overgrown, they struggled to walk

The brothers later bankrolled their local football club Prestatyn Town but severed ties in 2012.

The business man, who is also a former soldier, now runs Walsh Investment Properties as well as carrying out charity work for ex-servicemen.

He has ploughed much of his fortune into renovating his massive farm house home in Rhuallt.

Daily Post
Denbighshire Free Press

Antrim, County Antrim: Robert and Conor Mcaleenan

#TheList Robert James Mcaleenan, born c. 1959, and son Conor Mcaleenan, born c. 1986, of 210 Lisnevenagh Road, Antrim BT41 2JT – jailed for a catalogue of animal cruelty offences against dozens of horses, ponies and donkeys

Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically
Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically

Travellers Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were  jailed after police  discovered a ‘scene of horror’ at their farm, with decomposing dead horses among those still alive.

The case was triggered by a tip-off from a member of the public. The scene that confronted vets and PSNI officers on November 22, 2011, was one of horror.

Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically
Conor Mcaleenan
Cruel horse traders Robert and Conor Mcaleenan from Antrim

They were faced with an overpowering stench of dead animals which had been dumped in a heap on the farm, with numerous other standing around in filth, starving and left to fend for themselves.

One vet said: “The scale of what I saw was unbelievably large. The father and son had fundamentally failed to protect the animals, failed to address the most basic health and husbandry requirements.

“Some of the animals were in such a pitiful state of suffering that they had to be euthanised on humane grounds.”

Judge Desmond Marrinan told the Mcaleenans: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty that I have encountered and you should be thoroughly ashamed of your callous behaviour.”

The judge said he was unimpressed by the men’s defence and found no substance in claims the pair had not set out to deliberately cause suffering or distress to the animals.

He told the court the case photographs were “horrific… almost unbelievable”, and said: “The evidence bore testimony to the fact they treated these poor animals in a pitiless manner without the slightest regard for their welfare. In my view they are unfit to be carers for any animal.”

Sentencing:
Conor Mcaleenan, who had owned the animals, was jailed for 14 months.

Robert James Mcaleenan, who owns the farm between Antrim and Ballymena, was given nine months.

The pair were banned from keeping animals for 25 years.

Belfast Telegraph
Irish Mirror

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In January 2018 the pair reappeared in court accused of breaching their ban on keeping animals. The outcome of their latest court case is unknown, however.