A man who refused to feed his horses leaving them badly underweight has been given a five year ban on owning the animals following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

Perparim Tahiraj, 48, was found guilty under Section 24 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 for failing to provide a suitable environment, adequate diet and protection from suffering, injury and disease.

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Mr Tahiraj, from Helensburgh, refused to sign over care of the animals to SSPCA specialists despite admitting he was no longer willing to provide feed for them.

He also left them in badly designed and maintained conditions, exposing the horses to poisonous plants.

Scottish SPCA inspector Gillian Dick said, “We are pleased Tahiraj has been handed a ban for this level of neglect.

“Tahiraj is well known to the Scottish SPCA, we have had countless dealings with him and removed animals from his care a number of times. We tried on several occasions to provide him with guidance and advice on how to care for his animals.

“Tahiraj did not have permission to graze his horses on the land and had effectively been fly grazing within the field and surrounding grass area since January 2018.

“On 24 December 2018 he stated he would no longer attend to his horses or provide feed for them. We then asked him to sign the horses over in to our care, which he refused to do.”

She added: “When we attended the horses we discovered them all to be underweight and in poor body condition. Four of the five horses were suffering from skin infections, which needed veterinary treatment.

“The field offered inadequate grazing for equine animals and conditions were muddy, with little appropriate shelter from adverse weather conditions.

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“In one corner of the field the fence was broken and taped up, which was not suitable to contain the horses from the nearby busy road. 

“We welcome this sentence. Tahiraj was not capable of meeting the most basic of needs for the horses in his care. We hope this sentence makes Tahiraj consider his ability to look after any animal in the future.”