No prosecution in neglect case

A review of an investigation into animal neglect by a former SPCA Manawatu committee chairman has determined the case was not severe enough to prosecute.

An investigation into Pohangina couple Stephen and Judith Briggs was launched after a member of the public complained in March about the condition of a half-hanoverian horse owned by the couple.

At the time, Stephen Briggs was SPCA Manawatu committee chairman and a life member.

The internal investigation, carried out by Manawatu SPCA inspector and manager Danny Auger, found the horse, which had already been placed in the care of a "horse trainer" by the couple, had been subject to neglect.

Briggs resigned from his position, but had he not, his membership would have been terminated, Auger said when the investigation was complete.

The investigation file was then sent to the SPCA national office, where it was reviewed.

If deemed appropriate, the office could prosecute or have the horse removed.

SPCA chief executive Ric Odom said yesterday the review had been completed and found that the offence "didn't meet the threshold for prosecution", and no further action would be taken.

The horse, which was "fine", was still in the care of the trainer, he said.

However, as the horse was not seized, it was up to Stephen and Judith Briggs whether it was taken back into their care.

The Manawatu Standard