AN ELDERLY couple charged with neglecting 41 ponies in their care told a court they would never do anything to harm the animals.
George Millington, 79, and his 78-year-old wife Maureen are on trial at Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court in connection with 41 ponies they kept in 30 stables on a strip of land near their home at Birchin Hills, Ossett.
The RSPCA are prosecuting the couple after seizing the 41 Shetland and Welsh ponies last January 31.
Prosecutors claim 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.
Mr Millington’s lawyer Paul Blanchard asked him: “Would you ever have done any harm to these animals?” Mr Millington replied: “No.” Mr Millington said the ponies received “the best care we could possible provide.”
Maureen Millington, who described the ponies as “my family,” said she have each pony half-a-bucket of carrots and an apple every day.
She said the stables hadn’t been cleaned for a couple of days before the RSPCA visit on January 31 2013 because of bad weather.
Self-employed farrier Mark Armstrong told the court he had never had concerns about the welfare of the Millington’s animals while trimming their hooves.
Vet Bryan Hallows said there was no evidence any of the Millington’s ponies were suffering from dehydration and said all had been fed to a reasonable standard before last January 31.
George and Maureen Millington, each deny three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four charges of breaching a duty of care. Proceeding.