Woman who helped peer compile the Animal Welfare Act admits string of

A woman who helped a peer compile the Animal Welfare Act has admitted a string of cruelty charges involving horses, tropical birds and rabbits.Sara Ross, who was assistant to Lord Houghton when he piloted the protection Bill through the Commons, ill-treated animals at a sanctuary she ran in Buckinghamshire.Some of her staff were so appalled by the condition of the animals that they blew the  whistle on her and called in the RSPCA.On Friday 54-year-old Ross appeared before a District Judge and reversed her earlier “not guilty” stance and admitted more than a dozen charges involving abuse and neglect.A co-defendant and former assistant, Hayley Poturici, aged 25 years, accepted a caution from the RSPCA and no evidence was offered against her.After leaving the House of Lords following the death of Lord Houghton of Sowerby, Ross set up her own animal sanctuaries and charity shelters before the mistreatment, including failing to provide shelter and adequate protection, was exposedAmong the list of animals that were neglected were six horses, seven dogs, four cats, four rabbits and nine topical birds ranging from Cockatoos to Macaws.The sentencing of Ross, from Lake End Road, Dorney, Bucks., will take place on Wednesday (June 27). Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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