The SPCA has welcomed the prosecution of a Horowhenua woman who starved one horse to death and was implicated in the death of another.
A starving horse, Rangi, was found on a narrow strip of land in Manakau, north of Otaki, in August last year.
There was no suitable food and only a small amount of discoloured water.
The bones and ashes of another horse were smouldering in a corner of the paddock.
A veterinarian recommended that Rangi, who was unable to stand, be put down.
Te Ara Smiler has been sentenced to 120 hours of community work, ordered to pay $492.50 in vet bills and disqualified from owning horses for five years.
SPCA chief executive Ric Odom said there was no doubt her treatment of the horses caused unnecessary pain and distress, and its inspectors were seeing too many cases of animals being severely neglected.
"We really rely on the public to help us in this, and we follow up, and in this case what we found was an extraordinarily emaciated horse, in a paddock with no feed, no drinkable water; and it was essentially a paddock of mud."
The SPCA said horses in particular were vulnerable to starvation when confined to poor quality grazing.