A 38-year-old woman in Dordogne, France was just sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of $3850 for having mistreated her horses.
The breeder was investigated on charges of animal cruelty, false declarations, hiding information and detaining her animals without authorisation. The woman, whose name has not yet been revealed, was raising 120 horses on a farm.
Illustrative image. Source: Demotivateur
Veterinarians have claimed at numerous occasions that there were signs of mistreatment and a lack of basic hygiene, going to far as to say that their situation was "physiologically miserable bordering on agonising".
In fact, since December 2013, her horses had been living locked up in the stables, constantly in the dark. "The animals were disturbed by the light because they never saw daylight", Emmanuel Le Guyader, who works for a veterinarian in Dordogne, confirmed in court.
During the trial, the prosecutor even accused the owner of deliberately leaving the horses to starve to death and their corpses to disintegrate in "unspeakable conditions".
Illustrative image. Source: FranceBleu
The woman moved around in order to avoid being caught by the authorities,knowing she was illegally detaining and breeding animals, and even mysteriously made the horses "disappear" as soon as she heard they were to be taken away from her.
Amongst the 60 horses seen by the veterinarians in recent months, only eleven have been found for the moment, and taken away. The other have completely disappeared in the most inexplicable manner - the trial is currently investigating whether they have been sold to the black market or killed.
Hopefully the horses are all safe and alive, and able to be tracked down. One thing is sure, though- the horses are at least all better off now than with their previous owner, in the dark without food or water.