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Animal cruelty cases at four-year high in Wales

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A PEMBROKESHIRE man has been found to have failed to provide proper care for five equines, as animal cruelty prosecutions hit a four-year high in Wales.

Throughout 2017, 148 convictions were secured by the RSPCA in magistrates’ courts across Wales, compared to 120 in 2016, 89 in 2015 and 116 in 2014.

Levels of animal cruelty have been branded ‘extremely shocking and deeply saddening’ by the RSPCA’s superintendent in Wales.

In total, the RSPCA investigated 10,176 complaints of cruelty over the calendar year. The 148 convictions relate to a total of 67 defendants – a rise on the 61 convicted in the previous year. A further 52 offenders were cautioned by the animal welfare charity in 2017.

The man from St David’s was banned from keeping horses for five years after he failed to provide proper care for five equines, in what an RSPCA inspector has described as the ‘worst case of overgrown hooves’ he has had to deal with in more than 18 years as an RSPCA inspector.

The man admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to three mini Shetland ponies known as Tango, Titch and Tex and two Welsh mountain ponies known as Tiggy and Pedro by failing to provide them with adequate hoof care.

RSPCA inspector Nic De Celis, who attended the man’s home address with RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This was the worst case of overgrown hooves I’ve taken action on.

“What we were confronted with was five ponies with such overgrown and deformed hooves that two of them were reluctant to stand, let alone walk.

“It is really sad that things had got to such an awful state and hadn’t been deal with before things got so bad. It was revealed in court that it had been ten months since the ponies were seen by a farrier.”


The man was given an 18-week imprisonment sentence, suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 200 hours community service, pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £150. He was also banned from keeping horses for five years, with four weeks to re-home the two remaining horses left on his farm.

RSPCA Cymru’s superintendent Martyn Hubbard said: “It is extremely shocking and deeply saddening to see this level of horrific cruelty across Wales.

“Last year we dealt with several distressing cases that involved video evidence, that had been shared via social media.

“This evidence understandably causes great distress and public outcry. Thankfully due to valuable information being reported to us in confidence, we are able to investigate and bring any animal welfare offenders to justice.
“There is just no excuse for animal cruelty and will continue to ensure animal welfare laws are adhered to.

“Prosecution is always a last resort for the RSPCA – and court cases were the huge minority of the 28 complaints we investigated on average every single day of 2017.

“Nevertheless, the nature of cases dealt with by our frontline officers throughout 2017 once again demonstrates the importance of this work, and the necessity of securing justice for abused and neglected animals in all corners of the country.”

Many of the incidents dealt with by RSPCA Cymru throughout 2017 concerned horses, and other equines. Despite the efforts of the RSPCA and other equine welfare organisations, the crisis shows no sign of easing, with the charity struggling to find stables and funding to keep the large number of horses it has had to take in. As soon as one horse is re-homed, another is waiting to immediately fill the stable and, as a consequence, the majority of horses taken in by the RSPCA have to be cared for in private boarding stables at further cost to the charity.

Last year, there were 17 convictions in relation to equines in Wales and RSPCA inspectors dealt with 1,331 equine calls which involved 4,616 equines in total.

To report a horse – or any other animal – in need of help you can call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

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Success for pupils on A-Level results day

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THE OVERALL Pembrokeshire pass rate at A-Level was 96.6% compared with the Wales national average of 97.4%.

Nationally there has been a slight decrease in the pass rate compared with last year.

The percentage of pupils gaining A* and A grades in Pembrokeshire was 20.2% compared to a Welsh average of 26.3%.

There has been a good improvement in the percentage of pupils achieving A* and A grades since last year in Ysgol Greenhill School at 24.3%, Sir Thomas Picton School at 24.7% and Tasker Milward School at 30.3%.

The overall Pembrokeshire pass rate at AS-Level this year was 85.2% compared to a national average of 90%.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Director for Children and Schools, Kate Evan-Hughes, said: “Most of our students have achieved the outcomes they require to take the next steps in their journey whether that is university, apprenticeship or employment.

“It is good to see improvements being made in a number of our schools, particularly at the higher grades of A*/A in Tasker Milward, Sir Thomas Picton and Ysgol Greenhill School.

“We are pleased that the strategies to support the most able and talented learners continue to show good results.”

Councillor David Lloyd, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We continue to work committedly with our schools to achieve better outcomes for learners in Pembrokeshire. We are confident of achieving this.

“It is especially reassuring to see successes in particular schools for our most able pupils. At the same time where there are weaknesses we will acknowledge them and dedicate bespoke resources to remedy them.

“In conclusion I would like to wish all students every success with their future ventures and thank the teaching staff for their ongoing commitment to our young people.”

SCHOOL A*-A A*-E
Ysgol Greenhill School 24.3 95.7
Milford Haven School 9.0 96.2
Pembroke School 11.0 99.0
Sir Thomas Picton School 24.7 95.8
Tasker Milward School 30.3 95.5
Ysgol Bro Gwaun 5.5 92.7
Ysgol Dewi Sant 13.0 98.6
Ysgol Y Preseli 24.8 97.9
Pembrokeshire (overall) 20.7 96.6
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Saundersfoot: Two elderly people allegedly assaulted

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POLICE are investigating an allegation of assault which occurred at approximately 10.30pm on Saturday, August 4.

Two elderly people were assaulted by a male. One of the victims required hospital treatment.

A 20-year-old male was quickly arrested in connection with the incident and has been released under investigation.

PC Corissa Smith said: “This was an isolated incident and officers quickly arrested a man. We are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

“We are especially looking to speak to a female who may have had contact with the male suspect moments before the incident.

“She is described as being in her mid to late twenties, large build, with blonde hair and wearing dark clothing. She may have been with a smaller female friend.”

Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Haverfordwest: Lorry blocks Clay Lane

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A LORRY has blocked Clay Lane in Haverfordwest this morning (Aug 16) shortly before 9am.

Motorists reported a delay on the road and were forced to turn around.

Several large vehicles have blocked the road over the last year.

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