- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals plans to soon file charges in the case of a farm that has been publicly accused of hurting animals.

SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton said Monday that the agency has been investigating the Swedesboro farm of Monica Thors since last year.

Critics say she shaved down horses’ hooves so much they became infected. The issue got broader attention last month when KWY-TV in Philadelphia reported on it.

Reached by phone on Monday, Thors said that she could not comment publicly on the case. In the past, she has acknowledged some problems with hoof infections.

The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey released a statement Monday calling for action on the case.

“The appropriate agencies in Trenton will be moving forward to rectify this problem,” said the group’s president, Tom Luchento. “We are shocked and incensed that the mistreatment of these horses has been ongoing and the issues unresolved despite previous interventions by state agencies.”

The SPCA’s Stanton said the issue has taken time for a variety of reasons.

He said multiple experts have evaluated practices as Thors’ farm, and that it takes time to coordinate with the state Department of Agriculture, which has also investigated and found violations of the state’s laws on humane treatment of livestock. But the department referred the case to the quasi-governmental SPCA in November 2013 because the state agency lacks the legal authority to file charges.

Stanton said horse abuse cases are also complicated by their nature. One issue officials have to resolve, he said, is where the horses go if they are taken away from their owner.

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