A Terrington St Clement man has been jailed for 18 weeks after admitting cruelty charges.
James Taylor, 59, of Hay Green Travellers Site, has also been banned from owning horses for 10 years after two mares and a yearling were found in an emancipated state.
RSPCA officers seized a total of four horses from a field in Oxborough, where the remains of two horses were contaminating the only water supply.
Speaking after Wednesday’s hearing, Insp Chris Nice welcomed the sentencing.
He said: “This neglect was prolonged and would have caused a great deal of suffering to those animals.
“When people choose to own horses they must ensure to safeguard their welfare at all times and the RSPCA will not hesitate in taking robust action against cases of clear cruelty as occurred with these animals.
“The conditions they were kept in were unacceptable. These animals did not have daily attendance and were in effect abandoned.”
Lynn magistrates heard today (Wednesday, January 13) that Insp Nice found a herd of more than 20 horses within the field on March 24 last year.
He returned the following day with a vet to assess the horses after receiving permission from the land owner.
Jonathan Earles, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court: “They went on the premises and found three dead horses in various stages of decomposition and he particularly noticed that two of the dead horses were contaminating the water supply.”
Four horses were seized from the field after the vet raised concerns about their welfare.
The four-year-old bay, a teenage dark bay, a seven-year-old grey mare and a yearling were found to be in an emancipated state with lice and overgrown hooves.
The court heard that a vet estimated two of the animals had been suffering for two months.
In mitigation, Andrea Clarke told the court Taylor accepted responsibility for the horses and pleaded guilty.
She told the court that Taylor, who is not in fixed employment, has looked after horses for the majority of his life and that he is part of the travelling community.
Miss Clarke said Taylor was concerned about a disqualification for keeping animals.
She told the bench that the Probation Service were not able to compile an interview for the pre-sentence report as Taylor became agitated and left due to fears of a custodial sentence.
Miss Clarke added that Taylor’s relationship with his partner has broken down and that his life now seems “worthless”.
Taylor was also ordered to pay £858,54 vet bills along with £253 prosecution costs.