Pitiful plight of ponies bought as
Thousands of horses are being left to starve as uncaring owners abandon them on verges and wasteground in what animal charities are warning is set to become a major animal cruelty crisis.
Many have been dumped by middle class families who bought them cheaply as pets, only to be hit by the soaring cost of feeding and caring for them.
The RSPCA which is helping four horses a day will tomorrow reveal that it has seen a 69 per cent increase in equine rescues across England, up from 901 in 2012 to 1,526 last year.
The most horrifying cases include a foal that was tied up in a bag and abandoned on an industrial estate in East London, and a pony, too weak to stand, left by the side of a nearby busy road.
One group of eight ponies was even released at Cardiff Airport.
An RSPCA spokesman said: ‘You’re looking at people who thought they could afford livery or rented fields but have discovered they can’t in the economic crisis.
‘Feed costs keep going up so they turn the horse out to fly graze. We believe there are certainly cases where parents bought ponies which their children have outgrown.
‘If the pony has little value, they may not know what to do with it. So they just leave it on a piece of open ground.’
Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde, co ordinator of the charity’s National Equine Inspectorate, added: ‘You can now buy a pony for 5. People who once could never have afforded one now can but they soon discover they can’t afford to keep them.
‘With prices collapsing, there’s no incentive to send them to auction. They can’t afford to get these animals g rolex watches elded so they just dump them on land where they breed.
‘Fly grazing has always been a problem in some areas but it’s increased dramatically across the UK. This is a major crisis. Where in the past you might have seen a few horses, now you’ll see 20 or 30.’
Thousands of ill or under nourished horses have been left to roam free because equine charities are unable to trace their owners or provide enough places at sanctuaries.
Only in extreme cases of suffering are the animals put down.
The RSPCA figures include all rescued horses, not just those set loose and abandoned. But the sharp rise ref rolex watches lects studies by other leading equine welfare groups.
World Horse Welfare said it estimates rolex watches that 3,500 fly grazed horses across England and Wales are suffering neglect.
It sets the total number of places available in the country’s equine charity rescue centres at just 2,800 and nearly all have already gone. Meanwhile, charity Redwings has warned that the number of neglected or abandoned animals reported to its helpline has risen fivefold, from 160 in 2009 to 806 last year.
Among the worst fly grazing hotspots are Gravesend in Kent, the Avon Estuary near Bristol, suburbs around Manchester and Hull, and parts of South Wales.
And it revealed the problem is set to worsen as tougher laws in Wales encourage unscrupulous owners to dump their animals in England.
Chief Inspector Hyde said: ‘This is fantastic for Wales but it is just going to export the problem to England. We know that owners and dealers, particularly in the traveller community, already move large groups of horses around the country to find new sites.’
The Control of Horses (Wales) Act, which came into force last week, gives councils the rig rolex watches ht to seize, impound, rehome or, as a last resort, humanely destroy horses grazing on land without consent.
Because most fly grazed horses cannot be traced to an owner, councils can take action only after a minimum two week investigation.
Although they can then confiscate the animals, the only option is to microchip them making them ‘legal’ and sell them at auction.
A spokesman for World Horse Welfare said: ‘Far too often these horses will simply be bought back by the dealer who gets a horse whose value has increased with the microchip. And the problem will be perpetuated.’
A spokesman for Redwings said: ‘Unless England takes action as well, it is possible the 2,000 or more horses being fly grazed in Wales will simply be moved over the border into England.’
The charity’s chief executive, Lynn Cutress, added: ‘We have seen first hand the devastating effects of the increase in abandonment of horses, from large groups roaming on to playgrounds, airports, nature reserves, housing estates and farmland, to tiny foals left to fend for themselves, and even one that was deliberately thrown into a river and left to die.
‘It doesn’t just affect the horse community. It has a severe impact on all areas of society.’
It’s disgusting how grown adults can dump responsibility like this. And more than likely doing it in front of their kids too so they will learn their useless ways. I’m sick to death of going on Facebook/news and seeing so much animal abuse. Its horrific. I don’t care if you cannot afford to look after an animal just because you “didn’t realise” how much an animal can cost doesn’t mean you should just dump it. there are heaps of charities out there or at least if you must have it humanely euthanised.
The government needs to address the fact that inexperienced “people” can buy such a large animal. And then breed and breed away adding to the problem. The horsemeat scandal has masked a lot of this for a long time. Only now the true picture is emerging. Most humans are vile!!!!