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The bodies of two ponies have been found “in a distressing state” dumped on farmland in York.

A walker discovered the grey mare and young dark bay, both with ropes still tied to their feet, on land off Buttercrambe Road in Buttercrambe on 14 January.

The local resident contacted the RSPCA who are appealing for information.

An RSPCA spokesman told H&H that the gender of the bay pony could not be detected as an animal had been at the body.

“Finding two dead horses would be extremely upsetting for most people, but these poor ponies’ bodies are also in a distressing state” said RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell, who is investigating the case.

“The young pony was emaciated and the grey mare had blood around her nose, and both had ropes tied around their feet.

“It’s very upsetting to think what these ponies went through before their death, so I am very keen to hear from anyone who might have some information about where they have come from, who owns them, and who dumped them like this.”

Ms Mitchell said the charity frequently comes across ponies dumped in this manner.

“In our experience, ropes tied around the horses’ feet means they have most likely been dragged from the back of a vehicle to be dumped away from where they were being kept,” she said.

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“Sadly, this upsetting find is not uncommon. During the last few years we have been called about the bodies of horses and ponies dumped like this in locations up and down the country, and more often than not they are not microchipped so we have no way of tracing an owner.

“Whether it happens because it is costly to disposing of a dead horse, or just a very callous attitude from owners who believe horses are simply disposable, it is completely unacceptable.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the RSPCA as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 8018.