‘Pony puncher’, Sarah Moulds, has been charged with animal cruelty
NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: You may have read Sarah Moulds’s story. I wrote about it some time ago (click here if you wish to read the backstory). It was well discussed in news media. She is a primary school teacher or was. She was a follower of the Cottesmore Hunt. This is a well-known fox hunting group. You can’t fox hunt in Britain any more but you can trail hunt using the scent of a fox. She was a follower. And during one of those hunts she was filmed slapping and kicking a horse who was uncooperative.
She was surreptitiously filmed doing this by an anti-hunting activist working for the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs. And the video was posted on social media including Twitter and became viral. The fallout for Sarah Moulds has been devastating. The latest consequence is that she has been charged by the RSPCA for two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. She will be attending the Boston Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
She’s been charged with causing the horse, Bruce, unnecessary suffering by “kicking and hitting him, and for not taking reasonable steps to protect the animal from pain, suffering injury or disease”.
In addition, she lost her job as a primary school teacher (Mowbray Education Trust) and has been removed as a follower from the Cottesmore Hunt.
As you can imagine, there was a public outcry. She’s also been removed from her local branch of the pony club. For someone like me, an avowed anti-hunt advocate, it is good news. I think that it had to happen. It is a clear case of animal cruelty. She was caught red-handed. The RSPCA would be negligent in their duties if they didn’t charge and prosecute her. It is an absolute certainty in my mind that she will be convicted. The event has had a devastating impact on her. You might argue that she has been punished already by the public opprobrium.
Update January 31, 2022: Sarah Moulds has elected to go for a crown court trial with a jury having attended the Magistrates’ Court. Therefore, we will see in the near future a preliminary hearing in preparation for a main trial on the charges of animal cruelty. She clearly intends to defend herself.
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