"Strasser" UK Court Case

INTRODUCTION:- rantings of a fellow frustrated UK horse lover.

This statement should have been made before now, the INCORRECT versions of this trial, have created a huge amount of Bad press for the Strasser trim that is totally undeserved, and unfair. Ms Dean has not felt able to talk about the case publicly until now, as the stress almost ruined her life, her career and sanity. She has been victimised in so many ways, mainly due to incorrect press reporting, and vicious gossip on internet message boards. She has felt that she was not able to go on the defence, as the entire episode has left her exhausted, and bewildered, by the fact that it turned out the way it did. It would have seemed inconceivable prior to the event, that simply by attempting to transition a 30 year old pony from shod to barefoot, when begged by the owner, this could have led to such an escalation of events. Fiona's own words:- "for the sake of trying to help a few bad laminitic cases, now, hundreds of other horses are not being helped, for fear of prosecution. Those few laminitics, were not worth, what has now happened."
Isn't this sad, and ridiculous, that now we must not help bad cases, that have been allowed to get that bad, under their current farrier and veterinary care. Why are the welfare agencies NOT interested in negligence and poor care, so widely seen in conventional professional care ? Is there a conflict of interest here ? It has been said many times, and I say it again, the reason you hear of strasser trimmers taking on bad laminitics, is because others don't want to get involved, the Strasser trim is the last resort, when other help has failed. It is one of the few trims that has successfully rehabilitated severe pathology in hooves.

Why have the vets/farriers involved in all these cases not been hauled into court to explain THEIR part in the demise of the health of these animals. It doesn't happen overnight, it can take years, and whilst the conventional professionals will continue to side step responsibility with replies such as:- "they were born like that," "it's the breed," "it must be your riding that caused it," "it must be genetic," - to explain the huge percentage of lameness that domestic horses are afflicted with, Dr Strasser will NOT say this, she says, WE (the humans caring for these horses) have caused these problems, by not giving them the correct care and conditions that they need. This has made her unpopular with her peers. To admit that the current conventional care could be causing health problems, and the theory behind the training of such professionals could be WRONG, that is a very frightening prospect, a female vet, in a male dominated world, who is prepared to be honest. Very scary, no wonder Dr Strasser is such a threat to the industry. -- Elke Garland


From: Dean Fiona
Sent: 23 November 2006 15:26
Well it looks like no one has got it right.
I was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering by omission to provide timely veterinary assistance- these are the words of the court. I was found not guilty of causing unnecessary suffering for inappropriate trimming. In truth the judge felt that I should put a horse down without the permission of the owner (who was abroad) or her  mother  (who was regularly visiting the horse) said "all vets say that". The time of omission only was applied to the time the owner was abroad. Once the owner had returned and was responsible for the horse it was no longer my duty of care.

You may ask why was the owner not prosecuted seeing as she left the pony to suffer for 3 days. The answer is that for any Act that is heard in a magistrate court, the evidence needs to be laid in court within 6 months of the event. The RSPCA were asked by the judge if they had given this owner immunity.

 They didn't have to give this owner immunity  because the time that had elapsed between the event and the court hearing was well beyond a point where she could be prosecuted. Besides if they prosecuted her they would not have been able to make the case against me- she was their star witness

The pony I was looking after was never seized by the RSPCA, it was thankfully euthansed before that occurred, one week after my vet had recommended that it be put to sleep. (there was no problem proving the vet had been. The problem was proving that I had said to the owner that the vet had been and recommended euthanasia. The owner denied me telling her this.) The owner was abroad but failed to have the pony euthanased for 3 days after her return.

Thus the trimming is not relevant to the case, but the RSPCA just wanted to make out that it was.

It is also important to note that this type of conviction does not mean that I had to have the intention of causing unnecessary suffering, quite the reverse. The circumstances  simply had to happen and whether I intended to omit or not. -- Fiona Dean

©2007 by The Horse's Hoof. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduced by any means whatsoever without the written permission of the publisher and/or authors. The information contained within these articles is intended for educational purposes only, and not for diagnosing or medicinally prescribing in any way. Readers are cautioned to seek expert advice from a qualified health professional before pursuing any form of treatment on their animals. Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

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