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A dead horse has been found with a 20in laceration to the neck, and others to the mouth and jawline in Essex.

Reports suggest the cuts had been made by a large, sharp instrument.

The seven-year-old thoroughbred was turned out by its owner at 5am on Monday (15 August).

Its body was found by passing walkers at around 2.30pm at Beam Valley Country Park, Rush Green, Romford.

The police and RSPCA are currently investigating.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “This horrific incident appears to have been completely unprovoked. We are keen to find out who was responsible, so if anyone has any information they think might help with the investigation, please contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is urged to call: 0300 1234 999