#TheList Evan Lloyd Evans, born c. 1944, of Pencarth Uchaf Farm, Chwilog, Pwllheli LL53 6SW – caused unnecessary suffering and failed to meet the welfare needs of 51 Welsh mountain ponies.
Horse breeder Evan Lloyd Evans was found guilty of keeping 51 horses in appalling conditions at Cricieth Stud, Pwllheli.
The court heard RSPCA officers visited the stud farm on 27 June 2012, and a vet put nine horses to sleep due to untreatable hoof conditions and to prevent further suffering.
Another 50 horses were removed.
Of the 59 horses discovered at Pencarth Uchaf, Chwilog, near Pwllheli only five were found to have normal hooves.
The court was shown harrowing videos made by the RSPCA and the World Horse Welfare charity showing the poor state of the animals’ feet and their living conditions.
Other charges dealt with allegations Evans failed to provide adequate bedding and exposed the horses to hazards.
The court heard the floor in all the sheds were covered in dirty hay. In most of the sheds there were pieces of broken agricultural equipment on which the horses could injure themselves.
The fencing around the pens was makeshift and in a poor state.
RSPCA inspector Mark Roberts said: “The conditions we found at Cricieth Stud were appalling and completely inappropriate for the ponies kept there.
“Many of them had acute problems with their feet and other serious health issues.
“We had been alerted to the fact there were many ponies in unsuitable conditions but did not expect to have to remove 50 of them on veterinary advice.
“In addition the vets also advised that nine had to be put to sleep as sadly their condition was so extreme there was no other way to alleviate their suffering.”
“It was an extremely bad situation made worse by the fact that many of the ponies were virtually unhandled making any necessary treatment incredibly difficult to carry out.”
Nigel Weller, for Evans, said: “He has devoted his life to breeding horses and he is quite proud of what he has achieved with horses which bear the Criccieth prefix. He is quite well known and his animals are desired and he is anxious the bloodline is protected.”
He said the situation had existed at the farm for only a short time and was exacerbated by Evans’ poor health and lack of help.
He told the court the number of horses at the farm had been reduced by two-thirds and the remainder transferred to his daughter who lives nearby and who will be able to care for them with assistance from other family members.
Inspector Roberts said the case highlighted how “over breeding and overstocking can spiral out of control”.
“This is a fair sentence and sends a strong message to all horse owners and breeders that they must put the welfare of their horses before all else,” he added.
Tony Evans, north and mid Wales field officer for World Horse Welfare, said: “It saddens me to think that all the help and advice that was given to the owner failed to have any significant effect.
“As our main priority has to be the welfare of the ponies, we had no choice than to involve the RSPCA to undertake stronger measures.
“In many of the situations we deal with, long and costly prosecution cases can often be avoided if the owner follows the advice given by World Horse Welfare field officers and takes appropriate action.”
The judge was told that looking after the horses since June 2012 had cost the RSPCA £300,000 but that Evans had no money.
Jailing Evans Judge Andrew Shaw said: “For many years you were an owner, keeper and breeder of Welsh mountain ponies. I am treating this as a medium term period of neglect. You ignored warnings and nine animals were in such a poor condition they were euthanised. These are particularly serious offences.”
Sentencing: jailed for 10 weeks. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires November 2023).