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Horror horse farm owners face trial

May 16, 2008

The family at the centre of one of the biggest horse rescue operations in Britain is facing 12 charges relating to the Animal Welfare Act.

The scale of the alleged mistreatment of the horses at the Amersham property was branded as unprecedented by the British Horse Society.

Following a pre-trial review, a trial date has been set for James Gray and his family. They will appear at Bicester Magistrates Court in December and the hearing is expected to finish in March.

The hearing will run from December 8-19, adjourn for Christmas and start again on 12 January until early March. This is due to the large number of witnesses and sheer amount of evidence.

The family - James John Gray, Julie Gray, Cordelia Gray and Jodie Gray from Spindles Farm in Amersham, Bucks will face 12 charges related to section 4 and section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 - which cover causing unnecessary suffering to and failing to meet the needs of a total of 125 equines.

World Horse Welfare (formerly the ILPH) has been caring for 11 horses and ponies from the Amersham case since January 2008 and their immediate future is secure.

On April 14 the District Judge who ruled that the 111 horses and ponies taken must be returned and sold, suspended his original decision and ordered a 'stay'.

This means that all the horses, ponies and donkeys will remain in the care of the RSPCA and other equine charities including ourselves pending a high court appeal by the RSPCA to overturn the original decision. A date for the high court appeal has yet to be set.



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