Sophie Evans, instructed by the RSPCA, successfully resisted the appeal of a man convicted of failing to meet the needs of two donkeys in his care, under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Sophie prosecuted the man’s original trial at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court in April 2019, where he was convicted of not attending to the needs of the two donkeys, who he said he had taken on to prevent them populating the New Forest.  The donkeys were found by the RSPCA following a tip off from the local authority.  They were kept in a stable no bigger than 4m x 4m, and had hugely overgrown hooves, causing them difficulties in walking.

The man appealed his conviction, but the Appeal was dismissed by Winchester Crown Court on 29th November 2019.  He has been disqualified from keeping equine animals for a period of 2 years.

The Appeal, which lasted two days, involved the cross-examination of a veterinary surgeon and submissions on the powers of the RSPCA to enter premises.