Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Hamilton woman sentenced to community work after shocking horse starvation case

A Hamilton woman has been disqualified from owning horses for a year, sentenced to 100 hours community work, and ordered to pay vet fees after her horse starved to death.

Alicia Victoria Keppel, 53, appeared in the Hamilton District Court for sentencing on one animal welfare charge, after the case was brought to court by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

MPI Animal Welfare and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) compliance regional manager Brendon Mikkelsen says it was serious offending.

“The horse was Ms Keppel’s responsibility and she failed to provide proper care and sufficient food for it. For a long period of time she didn’t check on the horse.”

Animal welfare inspectors visited Ms Keppel’s property in the North Waikato area on 22 February 2020 after a complaint from a member of the public about an emaciated horse. When the animal welfare inspectors arrived, they found the horse – an elderly Chestnut Gelding – had died overnight.  

“Ms Keppel’s horse would have suffered significant distress. It was extremely emaciated, and starved to death,” Mr Mikkelsen said.

“In New Zealand, everyone must take responsibility for animal welfare. We encourage any member of the public who is aware of animal ill-treatment or cruelty to report it to the MPI animal welfare complaints freephone 0800 00 83 33.”

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