Hundreds of horses being abandoned by owners – 06/03/12

Daily Mail article

Daily Mail, Tuesday, March 6, 2012 Hundreds of horses abandoned by owners

A HUGE rise in the number of horses abandoned by their owners has left animal welfare campaigners ‘struggling to cope’. In the North of England alone, the RSPCA is caring for more than 200 horses found abandonsed or taken from irresponsible owenres.

The charity’s Cathy Hyde cited the harrowing case of a mare and foal abandoned on a moor in Doncaster. When the mare became stranded in a river, the foal went to her to suckle and drowned. ‘We are struggling to keep up with a growing crisis,’ said Miss Hyde. ‘Our inspectors are picking up horse case after horse case’. ‘Where veterinary advice supports the fact that animals are suffering, we act immediately to remove them’.

‘But that leaves us with the insurmountable problem of hundreds of horses whose care we fund for many months and even years until their owners are prosecuted or agree to sign them over so they can go to new homes.’ She added there had been an increase in the number of ‘dead and dying horses dumped in secluded areas’ by owners unwilling or unable to pay for veterinary care or disposal of bodies.

Miss Hyde said the RSPCA had been inundated with calls from concerned animal lovers, but while ‘we share their frustration we do not have any powers to remove these horses unless a vet says they are suffering or their needs are not being met’.

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