Group plead not guilty to animal cruelty charges

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Four men and one woman have pleaded not guilty to a string of animal cruelty charges.

Michael Morley, Stephen Parkin, Edward Smith, Patrick Smith and Julie Smith, all of Hemel Hempstead Road, Redbourn, appeared at Watford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, June 8.

Mr Morley, 37, is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to 18 separate dogs (failing to provide vet care for a variety of conditions) contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act and one offence of failing to meet the welfare needs of 42 dogs by failing to provide a suitable environment contrary to Section 9 of the act.

Mr Parkin, 55, is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a horse by failing to ensure it received appropriate foot care contrary to Section 4 of the act, causing unnecessary suffering to three horses by failing to provide a suitable environment contrary to Section 4 of the act, failing to provide a suitable environment for 21 horses contrary to Section 9 of the act, causing unnecessary suffering to eight goats by failing to treat their overgrown feet contrary to Section 4 of the act and failing to prevent the feet of a further seven goats from becoming overgrown contrary to Section 9 of the act.

Edward Smith, 61, Patrick Smith, 58, and Julie Smith, 59, are all charged with all of the above offences, a total of 32 offences each.

The case was adjourned to July 10 at 2pm at Watford Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing.

The trial date has not yet been set.