December 9 2013 Latest news:
Jane Ball, News Editor
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Seventeen maggot-covered horses, “left to rot” in a Havering field, were rescued last week in an emergency operation by a specialist animal welfare team.
Officers from the World Horse Welfare, RSPCA and Redwings charities worked overnight to remove 11 of the worst-affected animals, including a mare and its foal.
Emma Swadlo, World Horse Welfare field officer, said: “These horses were rotting away. They had maggots crawling out of their hooves and severely long feet; the smell was like nothing I’ve ever smelt before. If these horses would have been left in the environment they were living in then they would have simply rotted away.”
World Horse Welfare, Britain’s largest horse rehoming charity, was tipped off about the neglected beasts in an anonymous call to its welfare line.
Three young animals were found in a stabling just three feet deep, the charity said, while other horses roamed a field with no grass.
They had been fed on rotting bread.
“The decision was made to remove 11 of the worst affected horses from the field,” said Emma. “Catching them was hard, they were all completely unhandled and we were doing this in the dark, we did not want to hang around until the next morning, this case was too serious.”
The field, in Romford, was situated behind a traveller’s site but residents said they did not know who the animals belonged to.
All 17 ponies were eventually rescued and some are now recovering at the World Horse Welfare’s Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Norfolk.
Sadly, a mare, whose hooves were falling off due to rot, had to be put to sleep.
“This was one of the worst cases I have seen,” said Emma. “Just watching the farrier [hoof specialist] having to stop and retch every so often due to the strong smell coming from these poor horses tells you how badly they were suffering.”
For more information, go to: www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Emerging-Horse-Crisis
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.