37-year-old Sarah Moulds is now being investigated by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) after a video sparked intense outrage among netizens.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details and footage of animal abuse that may be disturbing to some readers
A woman who was filmed ruthlessly kicking and punching a horse has now been identified as a married primary school teacher. According to Daily Mail, 37-year-old Sarah Moulds is now being investigated by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) after a video sparked intense outrage among netizens. The viral clip begins with a white horse trotting away from the back of a trailer before being stopped by a young rider. Then a woman dressed in cream breeches and a navy jacket is seen allegedly grabbing the reins of the horse before kicking its torso and slapping it repeatedly in the face even as it tries to pull away.
The perpetrator is apparently Moulds, a Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, resident. The mother of two is a teacher at the Somerby Primary School and a director of the Knossington & Somerby Pre-School, Leicestershire. Per her social media listings, Moulds is the team leader of the Cottesmore branch of the Pony Club in Leicestershire. As for the video, which has now gone viral after an anti-hunting campaign group Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs shared it, was not only condemned by UK's national body for hunting but also by campaigner Chris Packham. The Hunting Office said that the perpetrator doesn't belong to its hunting associations, noting that "it expects the highest level of animal welfare at all times - both on and off the hunting field - and condemns the actions taken by this individual, who is not a member of the hunting associations."
Sharing the video on its Twitter page, the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs tagged the RSPCA to look into the crime. The group that claims to use "non-violent direct action to save wildlife" also expressed that the heartbreaking incident demonstrated "violence running through their veins" before revealing that it unfolded on Saturday afternoon after a Cottesmore Hunt, which is one of the oldest hunts in Britain. Responding to this, Cottesmore Hunt shared that it did not condone the woman's actions "'under any circumstances." Per ITV, the group said it "will be reminding all of our supporters that this will not be tolerated."
Meanwhile, campaigner Packham called on the RSPCA to "'urgently investigate and definitively prosecute this appalling abuse - thus upholding our standards of animal welfare protection." Even BBC's Springwatch presenter and zoologist Megan McCubbin described the woman's behavior as "disgusting" and added, "Yet another ugly side of an activist some call 'sport.'" The CEO of animal welfare organization Save Me Trust, Anne Brummer said, "Absolutely disgusting, she should be prosecuted and not allowed near a horse again. No one around her seems socked, what is wrong with these people."
As a horsewoman myself, nothing makes me angrier than seeing footage such as this. It is shameful. There is absolutely no excuse for this behaviour. No matter how frustrated you are, no matter if you’ve had a bad day. Horses are so sensitive. What a way to make them head shy 😭😭— ✨🇪🇺💗 (@crazy_cremello) November 7, 2021
The RSPCA, who had now launched an investigation into the incident, stated, "This footage is upsetting. We will always look into, and if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare." They urged people with information regarding the incident to come forward. "We would urge anyone with first-hand information about this incident to contact us on 0300 123 4999," it said. UK's reputation when it comes to hunting has been damaged once again with this incident. Just last month a prominent huntsman was convicted of providing advice to countrymen on how to covertly carry out illegal fox hunts. 60-year-old Mark Hankinson, the director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association was found guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court of encouraging or assisting others to commit an offense. He was ordered to pay £3,500 ($4,739).