12/05/2010 The Horse Trust’s Response to Spindles Farm Sentence Appeal

Buckinghamshire horse dealer James Gray and his family’s appeal against their sentence for animal welfare convictions have been quashed at Aylesbury Crown Court today, after their convictions for animal welfare offences were upheld last week on 6th May.
The sentencing remains as previously set last May 2009, however, James Gray has absconded from court and there is a warrant out for his arrest.

"The sentence being upheld sends a clear message that this wanton disregard for animal welfare will not be tolerated," said Paul Jepson, chief executive of The Horse Trust.
 
"This is a great result for the RSPCA. By banning James and his family from owning horses, we will be protecting thousands of horses from potential abuse. We are sending out a powerful message to people who put profit before animal welfare," said Jepson.

The Horse Trust is currently looking after 11 horses, ponies and donkeys from Spindles Farm at its Home of Rest for Horses in Speen, Buckinghamshire.

Paul Jepson continues, “At last we are safe in the knowledge that the future of the Spindle Farm horses here at The Horse Trust and the other charities is secure.  The past 27th months have been fraught with anxiety for the staff knowing that the horses were still effectively owned by and returned to the Gray family”.

All the animals taken in from Spindles Farm were underweight when they arrived at The Horse Trust in January 2008.  The animals also had numerous health problems, including Strangles, Salmonella infections, anaemia, parasite infections, impaired liver function, and internal organ damage.

The Horse Trust has spent an estimated £150,000 caring for these animals but is delighted that they are all thriving and enjoying life to the full.

“The relief for our staff, volunteers and supporters at The Horse Trust is immense and we have been touched by the generosity of people,” said Susan Lewis, Marketing Manager at The Horse Trust.  “This has been a long and emotional journey for both the horses, ponies and donkeys and everyone involved here at the charity but at last we can be satisfied that justice has been done.”