Officials have charged a Kentucky farmer after 49 dead horses and 15 others that appeared emaciated were recovered Monday from his Pendleton County farm.
“In nine years, this is the worst case of animal cruelty I’ve seen,” Scott Pracht, the county’s equine investigator, told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The farm’s owner, 63-year-old Larry Browning, said he hasn’t done anything wrong, and that he planned to sell the horses to either private owners or slaughterhouses outside of the country.
Most of the horses rescued from the farm had a Henneke body score of 1½ to 3. A horse with a body condition score of 1 is considered emaciated, according to the Kentucky Horse Council.
Beckey Reiter, director of Boone County Animal Care and Control, said that in her 26 years of experience, she has never seen so many deceased animals.
“I just don’t understand it,” she told the paper. “I’ve seen large cruelty cases, but I don’t think I’ve seen any where there has been more than half dead when you’re talking about 100 animals.”
Kentucky State Police cited Mr. Browning for 15 counts of animal cruelty and 49 counts of not disposing of an animal carcass within 48 hours, the Enquirer reported.
About three dozen horses were left behind with Mr. Browning.
Mr. Pracht went back to the farm Monday and told the paper that he could see at least one dead horse from the road and several others entangled in barbed wire trying to get through a fence.