A former teacher has indicated she will plead not guilty to two animal cruelty charges after being accused of punching and kicking a horse.
Footage of an incident on November 6 last year, in the vicinity of The Drift in Gunby Lincolnshire, was filmed by anti-hunt group Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs and was viewed more than two million times online.
The video shows members of the Cottesmore Hunt in Leicestershire, and includes an upsetting attack on a grey pony named Bruce. A woman can be seen in the footage kicking and hitting the horse and the video was investigated by the RSPCA, as well as being condemned by a number of celebrities including animal lover Ricky Gervais and TV presenter and conservationist Chris Packham.
The RSPCA brought the case against Sarah Moulds, 37, from Melton Mowbray who is accused of the following two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006:
- “That on November 6, 2021 in the vicinity of ‘The Drift’ Gunby, Lincolnshire, you did cause unnecessary suffering to a certain animal namely a grey pony known as Bruce, by kicking and hitting the said animal and you knew or ought reasonably to have known that your acts would have that effect or be likely to do so, contrary to Section 4, Sub section 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006”.
- “That on November 6, 2021 in the vicinity of ‘The Drift’ Gunby, Lincolnshire, you did not take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal namely a grey pony known as Bruce for which you were responsible, were met to the extent required by good practice in that you did not protect the animal from pain, suffering, injury or disease, contrary to Section 9, Sub section 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006”.
Ms Moulds appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 31 and indicated she will plead not guilty to the animal cruelty charges.
She has been released on unconditional bail until a plea hearing which is scheduled to take place at Lincoln Crown Court on February 28, 2022.
Moulds was also dismissed by Mowbray Education Trust last month.