News item

Woman found guilty of animal welfare offences

A woman has been given a ‘life-time” ban from keeping horses after being convicted of animal welfare offences. 

Sarah Coverdale (51) of Charlton Gorse Farm, Fosse Way, Thrussington was also sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work following an investigation by Leicestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.

Officers visited the farm in February 2012 and found a horse that was so weak it was unable to stand and had to be euthanized on site.

A second horse was removed by Trading Standards and taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment, but subsequently also had to be put down.  

Prosecutor Richard Thatcher said: "The horses were suffering and this could have been stopped by calling a vet. They were clearly both diseased and the fields were filthy.”

In mitigation, Coverdale claimed she was not the owner of the animals and did not farm the land and therefore was not responsible. However, this was dismissed by the District Judge.

Pam Posnett, Leicestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “The condition these horses were kept in was totally unacceptable. Trading Standards takes these sort of matters very seriously and appropriate enforcement action will always be taken.”

David Bull Leicestershire County Council’s Head of Trading Standards said: “The court has sent out a clear message that anyone who causes unnecessary suffering to animals kept commercially, will be dealt with severely. 

“Thankfully these cases are rare, as the Leicestershire farming community takes it responsibilities seriously. We would encourage the public to report any instances of farm animals they are concerned about to Trading Standards.”


For more on Leicestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service visit:

DATE: 25 June 2013