Horse left tethered in London Colney has to be put down

PUBLISHED: 07:01 09 September 2011

Patch poisoned himself on acorns after being tethered to an oak tree

Patch poisoned himself on acorns after being tethered to an oak tree


A HORSE left tethered to an oak tree in Highfield Park has been put down after poisoning itself on acorns.

The piebald stallion (pictured) had appeared on the open field close to Hixberry Lane a few weeks ago and the charity-run park was inundated with calls from dog walkers and residents concerned about the horse’s welfare.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said they were contacted and initially found a well-fed and healthy horse but its health quickly deteriorated after it began munching acorns.

She said: “They’re very tasty for horses and because the horse was tethered to the oak tree, it was a snack in great supply. But many people don’t realise that it’s poisonous to horses, just as ragwort is, and this meant the horse quickly became ill.”

The horse, named Patch, was described by the RSPCA officer who monitored the animal, as appearing drunk and unable to walk properly after eating the acorns.

Investigations revealed Patch had developed severe liver damage and stomach problems as a result of the poison and would not recover. The decision was then made, in conjunction with the owner of the horse, to put it down.

The horse’s owner was traced by Highfield Park after the chairman of the trust contacted the Travellers Welfare Office in Hatfield. They informed him that the owner lived in Tyttenhanger village and said the owner was asked to move the horse. Mr Thomas said that in the week after making the call and before its death, no attempt was made to move the horse.

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