AN ELDERLY couple have been banned from keeping ponies for 10 years after being convicted of neglecting 41 Shetland and Welsh ponies in their care.
George Millington, 79, and his 78-year-old wife Maureen were found guilty after a week-long trial at Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court.
The couple had successfully kept ponies for many years and even won prizes showing them at competitions.
The trial was told Maureen Millington described the ponies as ‘my family’
But the court heard the couple could not cope with the amount of work required to care for the ponies in 30 stables on a smallholding on a strip of land next to their home in Birchin Hills, Ossett.
The RSPCA are prosecuted the couple after seizing the 41 Shetland and Welsh ponies last January 31.
Some stables were soiled with faeces and urine; some ponies did not have access to water; some had overgrown hooves while on two others, hooves had been cut so short that it caused suffering.
District Judge Adrian Lower ruled that the Millingtons were both guilty of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four charges of breaching a duty of care.
Judge Lower ordered that the ponies seized by the RSPCA should not be returned to the Millingtons and he banned the couple from keeping equines for 10 years.
One of the ponies died after being taken away from the the couple.
Judge Lower fined George Millington £600 and Maureen Millington was fined £450.
Judge Lower said: “I suspected the removal of these ponies will be the biggest punishment of all in this case.”