A father and son have been jailed for a cruelty case described the judge as “one of the worst he has ever encountered.”
Conor McAleenan, 28, was sentenced to 14 months and Robert, 55, for nine months.
The pair who are from the Oldpark area of North Belfast will serve half the sentence in custody and half on licence.
They pleaded guilty last month to a total of 32 charges involving causing unnecessary suffering to the animals between November 1 and 25, 2011.
The bulk of the animals, 45 of them, were moved to a neighbouring farm, before being looked after by a number of charities and animal sanctuaries. In all there were 63 horses, ponies and donkeys. The corpses of six animals were found rotting, while three others had to be put down, so emaciated and beyond help were their condition.
When interviewed Conor McAleenan claimed that the horses found dead, had only died a couple of days before the arrival of police. He said he was in the business of buying and selling animals for slaughter, and had not wanted them treated with anti-biotics because he did not want the chemicals in the food chain.