Animal rescue

Ray Allibone of the Swampy Animal Rescue Service on Sheppey accused of causing unnecessary suffering to wildlife

The former boss of an “animal hospital” has been accused of causing unnecessary suffering to wild birds and a seal.

Ray Allibone, 66, from the Isle of Sheppey was due to face the allegations at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court today but did not appear.

Ray Allibone of Swampy’s Wildlife Rescue in Sheerness with a boa constrictor

The court heard his wife, Brenda, sent a letter saying her husband, who ran Swampy’s Wildlife Rescue from their home in Diamond Court, Sheerness, was ill and unable to attend.

Allibone faces four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He is also charged with failing to take “reasonable steps” to ensure a seal was kept in an “appropriate environment” and “providing an incorrect dosage of antibiotic treatment” contrary to Sections 9 and 32( 2) Animal Welfare Act 2006. .

He is further accused of keeping “several various animals and birds” in a “dirty and unsanitary condition” which was an unsuitable environment and of “not ensuring that all animals had water at all times fresh and clean drinking water”.

It is alleged that between December 28 and January 11, he failed to get a veterinarian to treat an open wound on the wing of a sparrowhawk and two similar cases for the broken wing of a kestrel . Between January 9 and 11, he is said to have failed to get a veterinarian to inspect a broken finch wing.

Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court
Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court

The allegations are made by the RSPCA following a raid on its premises on January 19. Rebecca Jones is suing.

Bench President Shelley Hein adjourned the hearing until July 8.

A request by Tahir Saeed, defending, to have the cases heard in Maidstone or Medway, which are closer to Sheppey, was turned down as there were no free slots in those two courts.

Allibone broke the news of the raid to its 7,000 followers on its Facebook page shortly afterwards.

He wrote: “Unfortunately Swampy’s is closing. This is mainly due to my health issues but also due to an intervention by the RSPCA.”