A HELENSBURGH man who badly neglected five horses in his care has been given a five year ban on owning equines following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

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

He was convicted of two charges by Sheriff John Hamilton following a trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court, which concluded on Tuesday.

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Scottish SPCA inspector Gillian Dick, who gave evidence on the first day of the trial, 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.

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“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 December 24, 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.

“When we attended the horses, we discovered them all to be underweight and in poor body condition.

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"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.

“The horses were exposed to poisonous rhododendron bushes and discarded fencing material.

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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.

“If anyone suspects an animal has been neglected or abandoned they should call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

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