Owner banned after horse starves to death

5:01 pm on 31 May 2021

A Hamilton woman has been banned from owning horses for a year, after her elderly Chestnut Gelding starved to death.

Hamilton District Court

Photo: RNZ

Alicia Victoria Keppel, 53, was sentenced at Hamilton District Court on Friday, on one animal welfare charge.

As well as the ban, Keppel has been sentenced to 100 hours community work and ordered to pay vet fees of almost $500.

Ministry for Primary Industries animal welfare and national animal identification and tracing compliance regional manager Brendon Mikkelsen said Keppel failed to provide proper care and sufficient food for her horse.

"The horse was Ms Keppel's responsibility and she failed to provide proper care and sufficient food for it. For a long period of time she didn't check on the horse," he said.

Animal welfare inspectors were alerted in February 2020, after a member of the public complained about an emaciated horse.

When the inspectors arrived, they discovered the horse had died overnight.

"Ms Keppel's horse would have suffered significant distress. It was extremely emaciated, and starved to death," Mikkelsen said.