Ms Kim Hollingsworth appeared in Sydney Central Local Court on Monday and was convicted of 11 charges of animal cruelty relating to horses in her care. Ms Hollingsworth was ordered to pay professional costs of $49,180.63, witness expenses of $10,876.60 and veterinary fees of $88,403.36. The RSPCA was awarded custody of 12 horses that had been seized from Ms Hollingsworth and a prohitibition order was also placed on Ms Hollingsworth prohibiting her from owning more than 20 horses for two years.
On Friday 10 February 2012 RSPCA Inspectors were called to a property at Cobbitty after receiving a complaint about horses on the property. Upon arrival Inspectors spoke with Ms Hollingsworth and a number of horses were identified and examined. On Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July 2012 an inspection of three properties on which the woman kept horses resulted in the seizure of 11 animals on veterinary advice.
26 horses in Ms Hollingsworth's care were determined by veterinary examination to be severely underweight with a body condition score of 1.5 or lower. 31 horses in her care were also found to be suffering from intestinal parasites (worm burden). Whilst in the RSPCA’s care, some of the more underweight horses increased their body weight by over 60kgs.
Following expiration of the 28-day appeal period, the seized horses deemed suitable for rehoming will be made available for adoption.
Judgement and Charges
Ms Hollingsworth initially pleaded NOT GUILTY to all charges however changed her plea on the last day of a seven-day hearing to GUILTY. She was convicted of 11 charges of animal cruelty, ordered to pay professional costs of $49,180.63, witness expenses of $10,876.60 and veterinary fees of $88,403.36. Custody of the 11 horses seized on 18 July 2012, and subsequent foal born from one of the horses, was awarded to RSPCA NSW. A prohitibition order was also placed on Ms Hollingsworth prohibiting her from owning more than 20 horses for a period of 2 years.