A north-east man has launched a bid to get his donkey back from a national animal welfare charity.
Gary Stevens is taking legal action against the Scottish SPCA after they seized it following concerns over welfare.
He appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court yesterday to set out his case so he can have the donkey returned.
It is understood the mule was taken from Hallmoss Farm, St Fergus by officials.
Mr Stevens, who was representing himself in court, said it was “unfair” that the SSPCA had been keeping his donkey for the last 12 weeks and insisted it would be suitably cared for if returned.
He said: “It is fairly straightforward.
“It is regarding one animal they seized, a donkey. It was taken away by the SSPCA. When they seized it the donkey was in good health.
“During all the time they have had her the care costs would have increased. If the donkey is returned to me she would still be cared for.
“I want the donkey returned. I think it is unfair they took the donkey.
“They’ve had it for three months.”
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Solicitor David Gibb, who was representing the SSPCA at the hearing, asked for the case to be continued to allow the charity time to answer Mr Stevens’ claims.
He said there was “scant information” from Mr Stevens and four weeks would be needed to provide a “detailed response.”
Mr Stevens is also taking action against Aberdeenshire Council after the local authority took some farm animals from him.
The local authority was not represented in court yesterday, but confirmed an investigation was being carried out after animals were seized on the back of veterinary advice.
Mr Stevens said he was also trying to force the council into handing the animals back.
He said: “I have some farm animals which I keep as pets, they aren’t for commercial use.
“They have taken some of the animals into care.
“I have got photographic evidence here to show there were no animal welfare issues.”
Sheriff Christine McCrossan continued both cases until November 28.
The SSPCA said it could not comment on the case.
A spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “We are currently conducting an investigation into animal welfare issues at Hallmoss Farm, St Fergus, and animals were seized following veterinary advice and guidance.”