An­i­mal char­ity warns of horse-wel­fare cri­sis

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Youngster Creates Tourism Pamphlet - By Ai­dan Bar­low

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.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­

Pic­ture: John Lane

John Lane came across this dead foal in Pluck­ley

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