Animal charity warns of horse-welfare crisis
Animal protection officers from the RSPCA are facing a “crisis” with the number of horses being found dumped, fly-grazing or abandoned.
A spate of recent reports have shown an apparent lack of care for horses and other animals around the borough, including the discovery a dead foal dumped in a farmer’s driveway.
Retired motor engineer John Lane was driving from Pluckley to his home in Charing when he spotted the carcass of a foal.
He said: “It has just been dumped in the driveway there for the farmer to clean up, so it doesn’t have to be registered.”
Mr Lane contacted the nearby Lady Dane animal rescue centre, who have shared his concerns with the RSPCA.
RSPCA spokesman Katya Mira said: “I can confirm that we received a report that a dead horse had been dumped on a road in Pluckley, Ashford, but were then told that the body had been removed shortly afterwards.
“It is always heartbreaking when dead animals are dumped like this as if they were rubbish, and we are particularly concerned to try and find out how they died and whether they suffered before they died.
“Sadly, this is not as unusual as you would hope, and the RSPCA and other horse charities are fac- ing a crisis in this area, where situations concerning abandoned, fly-grazing and dead horses are still frequent.”
Ms Mira said the charity had lobbied for legislation to boost the ability of landowners and local authorities to tackle fly grazing and enforce identification laws.
It would match similar legislation passed in Wales in 2014.
She added that the Control of Horses Act has been in effect since May last year.
Ms Mira added: “Thankfully, the law is already starting to make a difference in certain parts of the country worst hit by flygrazing.”
Anyone with suspicions about the poor treatment of horses can report incidents to the RSPCA by calling 0300 123 8018.
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John Lane came across this dead foal in Pluckley