The James Gray trial: account from inside the court

Posted on the 17th February 2010

Amersham horses trial - Tuesday 2 Feb - Bicester Magistrates Court, Oxfordshire

Today we went to court to hear the Gray trial and Mr Peter Green, ex vet and member of the RCVS, showed DVD film footage of all the horses at Spindles Farm in 2008. It showed sick, dying, dead horses and carcasses. It was unbelievable and it made us thoroughly depressed. These once beautiful animals reduced to skin and bone, listless, uninterested and unresponsive.

We could hear the background on the film and, as Mr Green described, there was no “whinnying” or interactive behaviour amongst the animals. They were all so miserable, they had no dry bedding to lie down on and one horse in particular had such dreadful diarrhoea that she was euthanised on the spot. When she was shot she sprayed diarrhoea up against the walls of her pen.

Most of the animals were filthy. Mr Green showed up to 89 equines but he hadn’t finished showing all of these animals. Some, although very few, weren’t in too bad condition but they were all seized (thank goodness). It was pitiful to see so many sick horses, some couldn’t even walk properly. A lot of them had just given up even when their rescuers tried to entice them with buckets of nuts, they were just not interested.

We saw a dejected-looking Rottweiler in a cage and Mr Green said he was covered in faeces.

In the fields there was a lot of rubbish, debris and bits of wire fencing scattered amongst some bones and horses trying to find grazing.

He said that horses get to know when it’s feeding time and you could tell this by their behaviour. He showed a group of horses in a field but they were just silent and depressed as they knew they wouldn’t get any food. There was haylage stored but it wasn’t distributed to the animals.

Mr Green described the feeding areas as totally unsuitable for horses because of the feeding stations which were used for cattle. He described how horses should be fed, not together but kept a certain distance apart. Some of the water troughs had faeces in them.

At the last count Mr Green was describing horse No 89 and he hadn’t completed the list of horses taken away – will continue tomorrow.

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