• STV
  • MySTV

Man jailed over 'extreme' neglect of pony and donkey

Gary Stevens was also given a lifetime animal ban for the offences at a farm in Aberdeenshire.

Jailed: Gary Stevens was found guilty.
Jailed: Gary Stevens was found guilty.

A man has been jailed and given a lifetime animal ban over the "extreme" neglect of a pony and donkey.

Gary Stevens was found guilty of failing to provide adequate care for the animals at Hallmoss Farm in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

The 53-year-old admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to the Shetland pony and for failing to ensure the welfare of the donkey.

For his offences, Stevens was handed the maximum sentence for each charge, totalling 18 months' in prison, which was reduced to 14 because of the guilty plea.

The Scottish SPCA visited Hallmoss Farm in June 2018 after concerns were raised to the charity's animal helpline.

'The vet in attendance said the state of Itsy, the Shetland pony, was the most extreme case he'd come across in 34 years of practising.'
Inspector Fiona McKenzie

Inspector Fiona McKenzie said: "In my 12 years as a Scottish SPCA inspector, this is one of the worst cases I've ever dealt with and I've never seen such a disregard for animal welfare. 

"The vet in attendance said the state of Itsy, the Shetland pony, was the most extreme case he'd come across in 34 years of practising.

"We made every attempt to work constructively with Stevens and his family, including issuing statutory care notices to improve the welfare of their animals.

"They rebuffed this offer of support and were uncooperative. Ultimately, they attempted to hide the animals under the guise of them having been rehomed.

"This left us with no choice but to make a report to the procurator fiscal. From this investigation we took ownership of over 45 animals including horses, pigs, sheep, lambs, cats, dogs and terrapins."

The Scottish SPCA investigated further after the animals went missing and found them at another address, where more ponies, which weren't at the farm during the initial visit, were found.

Inspector McKenzie discovered a Shetland pony, known as Itsy, which hadn't been seen previously.

She had severe issues, including being abnormally small while her back end looked weak and deformed.

Her front feet were so badly deformed that they were deemed in-correctable by the vet.

The vet said her poor body condition was attributed to pain and stress and the pony was put to sleep.

A donkey that had gone missing from Hallmoss Farm was also discovered at the second address.

She had not received any qualified hoof care or been seen by a vet as specified under the care notice.

The donkey was removed to ensure her welfare as being kept in this environment would cause her further suffering and stress.

She was taken to be cared where she received care for a multitude of issues including corrective hoof trimming, dental treatment and medicated baths for a skin condition. She made a full recovery and was successfully rehomed.

Inspector McKenzie added: "We worked closely with Aberdeenshire Council's Animal Health and Welfare team who took their own case to the procurator fiscal.

"We are very pleased the sheriff exercised the maximum punishment available to Stevens. We hope this will act as a deterrent to others and be just one of many examples of more consistent sentencing for those who are cruel to animals."

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.