The scandal of travellers' horses left without water and food in scorching sun

PUBLISHED: 06:00 06 July 2015

The RSPCA was contacted after locals saw this poor horse with no water at all and no grass on a very hot day.

The RSPCA was contacted after locals saw this poor horse with no water at all and no grass on a very hot day.

Photo supplied

There has been outrage over a pony left tethered without food or water despite the hot weather.

The RSPCA was called to Smallford Pits in Colney Heath following reports of the animal being left tied to a three-metre-long chain in a field for several weeks.

There has been an ongoing problem with the fly grazing of travellers’ horses, particularly as the tally of those dying continues to mount.

One concerned woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the pony “was so hungry it risked strangling itself daily to get to the grass it cannot reach – it has eaten all the grass that was there.

“The fact the RSPCA has to take food and water to this horse to make sure it gets some is out of order and the owner should be prosecuted.”

A spokeswoman for the charity said the pony was now untethered and others were continually being monitored.

There are currently 50 travellers’ horses illegally roaming free in the same field, which is owned by Herts county council.With scores of horses being euthanised or injured in collisions, or removed from the A414 in Colney Heath over the past few years, the problem of fly-grazing has again been discussed at the county council.

Lynn Myland, chairman of the Herts Committee of the British Horse Society, said the resources and performance cabinet panel was warned of the ‘crisis’ as horses had been abandoned on public paths, and the corpses of ponies have been left lying in fields, in view of public roads.

The council was told that Herts Police had fallen below its target to answer 999 calls due to the volume of calls and dangers posed by horses roaming - sometimes dumped - on public highways. There were 200 such incidents last winter.

The panel agreed to continue working with the police and RSPCA to stop horses roaming on local roads, and look into welfare issues of those left on council-owned land. But it would take “no action with regard to the detention, sale or destruction of such horses”.

Lynn and county councillor for the Colneys, Dreda Gordon, called for more robust measures.

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