Coleraine man convicted after causing unnecessary suffering to horses

Horses, archive image.
Horses, archive image.

A Coleraine man was sentenced at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Thursday, August 18, following charges brought against him by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

Russell Morrow, age 30, a resident of Buskin Way, was previously convicted in his absence of causing the unnecessary suffering of two horses for which he was responsible, as well as failing to look after their welfare needs, together with two other horses. The charges related to findings following an investigation by Animal Welfare Officers regarding offences in July 2013. One of the horses had to be euthanized at the scene and a disposal order was ultimately granted to the council in respect of the other three horses.

Mr Morrow received a custodial sentence of three months to run concurrently on each of the two charges today, was also disqualified from possessing and keeping equines for a five-year period and ordered to pay costs of £225.

A spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said, “Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements. Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices or, in extreme cases, the seizure of animals.

“The council may also prosecute for offences such as in this particularly harrowing case, which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”