Twenty-two horses were seized yesterday morning (Monday) from land near Harrow, Middlesex.

In a joint operation by Harrow Council, police and Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the horses were removed from the land at Old Redding where dealers were keeping them illegally.

View photos of the operation in progress

In November, the council obtained a two-year injunction against husband and wife team Nathan and Tina Jordan of Oxhey Lane, Herts, who were operating a horse-dealing business on land that did not belong to them (news, 15 November).

Most of the horses were moved from the land soon after, but a group of more than 20 remained.

So on Monday the council swooped with the help of Redwings’ staff and seized the animals.

Speaking as the removal was taking place, Veronica Thakkar, environmental health officer for Harrow Council, told H&H: “It is most unusual for us to have to take this sort of action but we need to protect the community from these horses which have been getting on to the road and causing traffic accidents.

“We also need to protect the owners of the land and horses themselves, who are illegally on this land and are receiving no care.”

She said the council had received terrific help from the police and welfare groups, including the RSPCA and International League for the Protection of Horses.

Vet Nicolas de Brauwere, who is head of welfare at Redwings, said the horses will be taken to a safe place and, if they are not claimed, will be rehomed through the sanctuary.

“There is a possibility of prosecution under welfare laws for some of these horses, as no care has been taking place. Some of them are lame and others underweight,” said Mr de Brauwere.

View photos of the operation in progress