Birkirkara, Malta – A video went viral in April showing buggy driver, Alban Josef Saliba, 36, whipping and beating his buggy horse in April. The horse was laying on the road, unable to stand despite thrashing. A bystander videod the whipping, and when she told the owner to stop hitting his horse, he simply replied “Something is wrong with him,” and continued the assault. The woman called animal services, but when they arrived 30 minutes later, the man and his horse were no longer there.
The video was turned over to police, and they promised an investigation and arraignment. Saliba was subsequently arrested and charged with animal cruelty.
During the trial, Animal welfare coordinator Dennis Sciberras testified that the whipping caused no visible marks or injuries from the whipping. He went on to state that for a 22-year-old horse, it was in very good health. Veterinarian Vanessa Messina, who examined the horse, further stated that there were no injuries to the horse related to the whipping.
When Saliba took the stand in his own defense, he stated the his horse fell over a hump in the road. He used the whip in an attempt to get her back onto her feet.
Due to a lack of indications of injury to the horse, and the fact the whip is a normal and customary tool of the equestrian community, the court ruled that Saliba did not intend to harm his horse and has cared for his horse well for the 22 years he has owned her. Saliba was cleared of all charges of animal cruelty.Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773
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