Crown council in Nelson has rejected charges laid forward by the SPCA of animal cruelty to a local Almond Gardens Road East rancher.
The charges were recommended after a raid on the ranch on December 2013 in which SPCA officers executed a search warrant. As a result of the raid, 10 horses were removed and two were destroyed.
SPCA investigators concluded their investigation in March of 2014 and submitted charges to Crown under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
“We had recommended charges back in March and they were not approved by Crown so we have not had additional seizures or warrants executed on the property,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer of the B.C. SPCA. “They go through their test of likelihood for a successful prosecution and whether it is in the best interest of the public. So when they weighed both of those they felt, unfortunately, that there wasn’t enough evidence for charge approval.”
Moriarty said the SPCA respects the Crown’s decision and can’t appeal the decision.
She added that if the SPCA receives any calls of concern and the animals are found to be in distress, the animal owner would be given an opportunity to relieve that distress. “If they fail to do that there are opportunities to seek a warrant or if they’ve complied the file is closed,” she said.
Moriarty would not confirm if there had been any recent searches on the ranch.