SPCA wants ban for neglect of horse

The SPCA want to confiscate a man’s horses, and disqualify him from owning any more when he is sentenced for neglect of “Tubby”.

Rufus Culliford pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to ensure the physical, health, and behavioural needs by not providing proper and sufficient food to the horse.

The summary of facts said an SPCA inspector visited a Tai Tapu farm in December 2015 and found Tubby in light body condition with ribs, backbone, and hip bones clearly visible.

Culliford said the horse was on the decline and he was considering euthanasia. He agreed to take the horse for a veterinary health assessment.

On May 6, 2016, the horse had not been taken to the vet and Culliford was given a written notice to either have her checked or euthanised by May 9.

On May 11 an SPCA vet was sent to assess the horse and found her in very thin body condition, with access to very short grass with heavy faecal contamination. She also had a large amount of soil in her teeth and an ulcerated mouth. The vet took her into SPCA possession.

The horse was returned to Culliford when she had a healthy body condition, and he was given a feed plan and a follow up appointment with the dentist.

Culliford cancelled the dental appointment and at an inspection in November the horse could not be located.

On February 2017 another inspection found the horse in bad condition again and she was taken back into SPCA possession.

While in their care she became unwell with a large intestinal impaction in April, and due to her age and body condition she was euthanised.

In the Christchurch District Court today SPCA prosecutor, Kerry Cook, said the SPCA want to confiscate all Culliford’s horses, and to disqualify him from owning more.

Judge Jane Farish remanded Culliford at large for a pre-sentence report and sentencing on May 17.

The SPCA are seeking reparation of $3395 for veterinary bills, plus a contribution to their legal fees, under the Animal Welfare Act.