A group of 46 starving horses was rescued from a field in Hampshire last week (26 September).
The field near Alton had very little grass for the horses to graze on. One of the horses was suffering from scouring and was in a very poor condition. All of them were hungry, lethargic and depressed.
Some of the horses had been straying onto the road in search of food.
Both the RSCPA and Redwings Horse Sanctuary had received concerned calls about the horses’ welfare.
“This situation had reached a point where we had to remove the horses. They were becoming more and more hungry and were at risk from escaping onto the busy road,” said RSPCA chief inspector John Harrod.
“There are many areas where the RSPCA receives calls about horses and ponies left without adequate grazing, but in most cases we are able to work with the owners to try to improve the situation.
“Here we could not find anyone responsible for the horses so we had no choice but to remove them.”
Among the horses were 14 foals that were struggling to get any nutrition.
Redwings’ senior vet, Nic de Brauwere, said: “The horses were getting hungrier and hungrier and were repeatedly trying to break through the surrounding hedges because they were so desperate for food.
“Some of them are so thin they would simply not have survived the winter without our help.”
The majority of the horses will now be cared for by the RSPCA where they will receive veterinary checks and treatment.
The 8 horses in the poorest health — including 5 foals — have gone to Redwings in Norfolk.
The horses will be continued to be cared for until an owner can be traced or new homes are found.