Brittany Smithson-Bealing – 8 September 2020

Conviction on charge of breaching section 8(1) Animal Welfare Act 1993: cruelty to animals

ORDERS: Fine $500; pay RSPCA $842.37 costs

On 7 February 2019 RSPCA inspectors attended a premises in Molesworth in relation to a complaint about a thin horse described as a ‘skeleton covered in skin’.

Upon arrival, the inspectors located a chestnut thoroughbred gelding that appeared underweight with ribs, spine and hip bones visible. The decision was made to seize the horse and remove it from the property.

A veterinarian attended the location of the horse on 8 February 2019, and met with an RSPCA inspector. In a subsequent report, the veterinarian said: “the horse was in very poor, grade 0/5 body condition score. The horse suffered dermatitis of the right point of pelvis and had a bot infestation. The horse exhibited extreme lethargy and was mildly ataxic most likely associated with suffering severe malnutrition. A faecal egg count was completed, finding a high burden with 1200 eggs per gram.”

During the interview, the defendant confirmed she had owned the gelding ‘Scotty’ for a couple of years and that he was in good body condition when she had purchased him. She advised that she was responsible for his care and confirmed that she had noticed him losing weight but at this point advised that the weight loss was fast and was first noted in December 2018 not October 2018 as previously stated. She advised that she had not sought any veterinary advice or treatment for the horse due to financial concerns. She advised that she had been providing supplementary feed but was not able to confirm if this was being eaten by the horse in question or by a second horse that had shared the paddock with him.

On 8 September 2020, Brittany Smithson-Bealing was convicted on the charge of breaching section 8(1) Animal Welfare Act 1993: cruelty to animals.

She was ordered to pay a fine $500 and to pay RSPCA $842.37 in costs.