A Bradford man has been warned that he could face prison after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a pregnant horse that died of a horrific neck wound.
Paul Pratt, 29, from Park Crescent, Peel Park, admits failing to treat the wound, which was caused by a crudely repaired bridle that dug into the horses flesh over a two week period.
The incident happened between January 21 and February 6 and yesterday Pratt appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court to answer a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by failing to seek veterinary care.
Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting, explained to magistrates that the wound was caused by a piece of rope gradually wearing away at the horses skin. A strap on the horses bridle had broken, and the rope attached in its place, near the neck. However, the rope caused extreme pain to the horse, and after two weeks had caused a gaping wound.
The RSPCA were tipped off and although a vet tried to treat the filly, it soon died of Septicaemia.
In court, Pratt looked visibly upset and uncomfortable as details of the horse's condition were read out by the prosecution.
Magistrates were shown images of the gaping wound, as well as the rope, which had pieces of flesh on it. Commenting on the images, Mr Monaghan said: "They show the horse in a considerable amount of distress and pain.
"Attempts were made to treat the horse, but unfortunately it dies as a result of the injury.
"A strap had been replaced by a twine or string, and every time the horse moved this created a sawing effect underneath the horse's chin. It was not a deliberate attempt to torture the animal, but owner's have a responsibility to their animals. The fact that this horse was in foal means that this led to the death of two animals."
Ian Hudson, defending, said: "If he had inspected the horse more carefully he would have noticed this wound. He didn't and accepts that this caused suffering."
Pratt is already serving a lifetime ban on keeping chickens and birds relating to an incident in 2007. In that case he was charged for keeping two dozen chickens and bantams cooped up in the back of a
dirty trailer without food, water or sunlight. Three of the animals died because of the poor conditions.
Chair of the bench John Waterhouse said: "We do regard this as being extremely serious. You had known this collar was broken, and you have previous convictions. All this puts this case in the custody bracket."
They adjourned the case for a probation report into Pratt to be written up, and he will be sentenced on July 30.