Woman pleads with St Albans public to stop poisoning horses

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 April 2020 | UPDATED: 06:57 27 April 2020

Rachel Payne of Park Street wants people to stop feeding her horses in St Albans when they go for their exercise amid coronavirus shutdown. Picture: Rachel Payne

Rachel Payne of Park Street wants people to stop feeding her horses in St Albans when they go for their exercise amid coronavirus shutdown. Picture: Rachel Payne

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A woman from Park Street is pleading for people to stop feeding horses while out for their daily exercise as she fears for the animals’ lives.

St Albans horse owner asks people not to feed her horses because it is putting their lives at risk. Picture: SuppliedSt Albans horse owner asks people not to feed her horses because it is putting their lives at risk. Picture: Supplied

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, people have been walking in the countryside more than usual and some are innocently feeding carrots, apples and other things they think are a nice treat for equine.

However, many of these food items are actually poisonous to horses in large amounts, and can cause them to suffer colic or founder. Horse owners know not to keep their animals near to fruit trees to prevent them from eating fallen fruit.

Horse-rescuer and owner Rachel Payne, 30, of Mayflower Road, says she is really worries about it and has to regularly ask members of the public to stop feeding her beloved animals.

She warned: “I have to be careful during this time. I have four horses in Chiswell Green and I am really worried about the amount of visits they get from passers-by who have all this extra time on their hands.

St Albans horse owner asks people not to feed her horses because it is putting their lives at risk. Picture: SuppliedSt Albans horse owner asks people not to feed her horses because it is putting their lives at risk. Picture: Supplied

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“Also, I worry that they are feeding my horses and it is not as simple as just feeding a carrot to a horse. Horses have dietary needs like humans do.

“One of mine - Captain - can’t have sugar because he is diabetic. He is a bit overweight and if he stuffs himself too much he could die.

“I know at the heart of this is kindness and people just want to do a nice thing, which I appreciate. It has got to the point though where it is dangerous and I am at risk of my animals being killed through kindness accidentally.”

Rachel also is concerned about deadly germs being transmitted to her from people kissing and stroking her animals before she visits them.

In Park Street there are donkeys and horses that are being put at risk in the same way.

Nationally, the feeding of horses is on the increase since the virus shutdown.

The British Horse Society said: “Remember, the key to a healthy horse is to treat him as an individual. Feed according to body weight, workload and temperament whilst always ensuring there is plenty of forage in the diet.”


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