The plight of horses tethered horses throughout Yorkshire and the North-East has prompted the RSPCA to call for greater legal protection.

This week sees the launch of the RSPCA’s regional campaign, which calls for greater legal protection for tethered horses, as well and a code of conduct for owners who still insist on keeping their animals in this manner.

The RSPCA has written to every MP, local authority and police authority in the region asking for their support. Members of the public are also asked to write to their MP in support of the society’s aims.

Although tethering is legal in Britain, the RSPCA is against the practice because many animals suffer often fatal injuries.

Case histories

  • Rocky, a neglected pony from Gateshead, was discovered in excruciating pain after his rope tether dug into his neck.
  • In Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, a black colt died after being strangled by its chain when it slipped down a steep embankment.
  • A Shetland pony in Newcastle died when its tether tangled with that of another horse and left it unable to breathe.

David Millard, the RSPCA Yorkshire and the North East regional superintendent, said: “We have serious concerns about the conditions in which many tethered horses in this region are kept.

“The welfare of many of these animals is clearly compromised, but legally we are powerless to act unless we can prove that unnecessary suffering has taken place. This is a legal term that requires the backing of an independent vet and must be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.

“The RSPCA would like to see new legislation designed to protect tethered horses and so prevent all this unnecessary suffering.”

Scarborough and Whitby MP Lawrie Quinn is backing the RSPCA’s campaign. He said: “The volume of horses tethered throughout Yorkshire and the North-East is extremely worrying.

“I’m delighted that the RSPCA is speaking out on this issue. A tethered horse often has no quality of life, it is exposed to wind, rain and blinding sunshine. We need to see new legislation which recognises the plight of these animals and works to protect them.”

For more information click hereto visit the RSPCA’s website.