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Monday, July 14, 2008

Strasser Trimmer's Conviction on Cruelty Charges in England Loosened on Appeal

Joanne Kowalski (left) with Hiltrud Strasser DVM outside a British courthouse during Ms. Kowalski's first trial for cruelty by means of radically trimming the hooves of a foundered pony. An appeals court lessened charges against the trimmer.

Amazing news from England today. A hoof trimmer who worked on a foundered pony following instructions from German veterinarian Hiltrud Strasser has had her conviction and sentence softened considerably.

Josephine Kowalski had been convicted of cruelty and of intentionally not seeking veterinary care that might have spared the pony some pain. She had been charged with 100 hours of community service and 10,000 pounds (about $20,000) in restitution.

Kowalski appealed and, after serving 30 hours of community service, was cleared of charges in a British appeals court, although she still appears to have been reprimanded for not seeking a veterinarian to medicate the pony.

This story is painful to read, but if you would like to, here's a link to the British newspaper.


Anonymous said...

Hi I was present at the court for the appeal. The conviction for causing unessessary suffering by not calling a vet was upheld. The judge had no doubt that she had caused the pony suffering as a result of her trimming but this was in march and April. The summons only referred to June July and he said there was no proof her twice weekly trimming caused it suffering during those two months. (a technicality)

Linda Reznicek said...

Interesting story from an American standpoint where many here trim their own horse's hooves. I don't, but instead hire the best farriers I can find, and I've found them to be far more knowledgeable than veterinarians when it comes to the horse's hoof and many many other aspects of horse health. The vet can give you Bute or Banamine (which most of us have on hand), but in my experience have misdiagnosed and caused more trouble. My main horse went lame one day--called the vet--she said it was an abscess and carved some hoof out until it bled--horse was still lame--she comes back and carves out more hoof still convinced it was an abscess--she reviewed the x-rays I had insisted she take--says there's no break--yada yada--3 months later and a special shoe custom made for this hoof--no improvement--and two vets from same clinic were working together to treat--coming out every week for check-ups.

My farrier at the time--who did their bidding with the special shoe--kept shaking his head and saying he didn't want to argue with a vet, but......

Eventually I took my poor horse to another vet out of town who looked at all of those x-rays they took--lo and behold there is a P3 fracture as clear as day.

It was my farrier who took over after that and I have a sound horse today--which is nothing but a MIRACLE.

The pain and suffering he experienced was caused by the vets--the healing was brought about by the farrier and myself.

So, saying a person is negligent for not going to a vet is highly questionable in my opinion.

D. Harrold said...

I just attended a 3 day Barefoot Strasser Seminar (instructed by a vet) I can honestly say, that everything I learned there MADE SENSE. The depth of the information that was presented, I doubt any farrier would learn at farrier school or even vet school. I came to realize how much as horse owners, farriers and even vets we DON'T KNOW about the horses hoof and how it functions. I would highly recommend this seminar for any horse owner. In any of the information presented, there was no evidence of deliberate cruelty to a horse. Founder is a very difficult and slow recovery process, I know I acquired a 6 yr old mare 3 yr s ago that was severely foundered. This style of trimming is the only thing that saved her from being in constant pain and possible death. Maybe cruelty charges should be laid against the owner of the pony for letting him get to such a foundered state!