Experts sum up evidence heard in animal trial

Animal suffering trial continues in Lowestoft

Animal suffering trial continues in Lowestoft - Credit: PA NEWS

Prosecutors reached the conclusion of their case against a Suffolk woman accused of mistreating animals.

The trial of 77-year-old Marylin Read adjourned yesterday at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court to resume on November 30.

Read, of Home Farm, Benhall, near Saxmundham, denies causing unnecessary suffering, after 28 horses and 24 dogs were taken from her property last May. Five horses were taken from a nearby field also owned by Read.

The court heard from expert witnesses David Martin, who said that he was certain the dogs had not been well handled, and that reasonable steps had not been taken to meet their needs.

Defending Read, Nigel Weller questioned why the weight of some dogs had only slightly increased in the year following the seizure.


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Mr Martin said it was most likely due to the initial measurement being “artificially elevated” by the thickness of each dog’s coat, which in 14 cases had also been wet. The other 10 dogs, he said, were not weighed until two weeks later.

Mr Weller argued that a lack of fleas present on the dogs indicated Read had taken reasonable steps to deal with parasites and was evidence of an anti-flea regime. Mr Martin admitted that was a possibility.

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The prosecution then called expert witness Peter Green, who said Read’s property was “massively overstocked with ponies”, and that there was insufficient grazing and no provision of any exercise area.

He said he found it “extraordinary” that the miniature Shetland ponies were so thin, and that just by keeping stallions in such close proximity, Read had caused suffering.

He concluded: “The notion that it is somehow natural to keep them entire and together is a misguided fallacy.”

Mr Weller is due to cross examine Mr Green when the trial continues on November 30.

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