A GREENS Beach man whose skeletal horse was one of the most emaciated RSPCA staff had ever seen has been fined $2000 for animal cruelty.
RSPCA prosecutor Glenn Carey said the five-year-old thoroughbred mare was ``extremely emaciated'' when an RSPCA inspector saw it in the Greens Beach paddock on September 28, 2011.
``Every bone in her body was prominent,'' Mr Carey said.
``I don't think I have ever seen a worse one.''
Owner Christopher Anthony Young pleaded guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday to animal cruelty for causing the mare unreasonable and unjustifiable pain and suffering by failing to provide adequate veterinary or other treatment.
Mr Carey said the inspector left a note for the owner and returned a month later to find the horse wearing a wind-sucking collar _ designed to prevent it from gulping air instead of eating _ but still in poor body condition.
The inspector recommended the horse be put down within 72 hours and Young complied.
Young said he had bought the horse for $150 the previous summer and kept her in a 15-hectare paddock with 36 other horses.
He said the herd was fed between 10 and 13 bales of hay every two to three days but the mare had never put on weight, which he attributed to her wind-sucking.
Magistrate Robert Pearce said it was Young's second breach of the Animal Welfare Act.
In 2010 he was convicted for using castration rings to neuter his own cats.
``Your prior conviction indicates to the court that you don't have a clear understanding of your responsibility to ensure that animals in your care don't suffer,'' Mr Pearce said.
Young was fined and banned from owning a horse for two years.