• M. Lormeau

Three horses saved from deplorable living conditions thanks to Liège's animal welfare network

On Tuesday 16 February, three animal rights associations joined forces and intervened to take care of three mistreated horses held in unacceptable conditions in Province de Liège.

After complaints from local residents to the City of Liège's animal welfare unit, the local authorities carried out a check to ascertain the situation of abuse. Following the inspection carried out by the municipal veterinarian and the Société Royale de Protection Animale de Liège - SRPA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals of Liège), the seizure was quickly ordered. The coalition between shelters has once again showed fruitful. Animal Sans Toit, Le Rêve d'Aby and Animaux en Péril worked together to rescue those three horses in difficulty.

The horses were reportedly wading in a mixture of mud and excrement with which they were also covered. They were sharing a piece of land strewn with waste, some of which was sharp and could have seriously injured them. The horses' makeshift shelter was in ruins and could have collapsed at any moment. Health check-ups on the equines showed that they had not received veterinary care for a very long time.

Photo: © Le Rêve d'Aby

In total denial, the owner assured that his horses lacked nothing and were well cared for. He was very aggressive towards the shelter caretakers and even threatened a member of the team. However, the police, present to ensure security, made sure the intervention went smoothly.

Sophie Locatelli, Vice-President of Animaux en Péril comments:

"Following the police report, the owner voluntarily gave up. However, this is not what will enable him to avoid legal or administrative proceedings. "

The police issued a report for an act of obvious abuse. The owner may be fined and prosecuted either criminally or administratively. If the Parquet (Public Prosecutor's Office) decides to take over the case, it may refer the owner to the tribunal correctionnel (criminal court). On the basis of Article D8 of the Walloon Animal Welfare Code, the owner may be imprisoned for eight days to three years and/or fined up to 1 million euros. If the Parquet does not prosecute, the authority will revert to the sanctioning official who may impose a fine of up to 100,000 euros, and also a withdrawal of the animal possession permit.

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