Loose horses have been causing havoc at a primary school in Leeds

Teachers at a primary school in Leeds have been forced to lock the school gates in an attempt to stop loose horses entering the playground.

Untethered horses have been escaping from nearby fields and entering the school playground.Bramley Primary School in Bramley, Leeds, has been forced to display notices asking parents and visitors toensure that the gates are shut behind them.

In separate incidents last year, two pupils were injured – a young girl was biten on the chest, which has left a permanent mark, while a schoolboy received a bite to the mouth.

Margaret Beeseley, who has been headmistress at Bramley Primary for the past three years said: “We began experiencing problems with stray horses last year, with an increased number of incidents occurring during the summer. The horses approach in an aggressive manner and many of the smaller children are frightened to pass them, especially on the pathways leading to the school.”

The school is situated in a housing estate and it is thought that youngsters from around the area have been tormenting the horses, which locals believe has led to these displays of defensive behaviour.

Although the majority of the animals appear to be in good health, the RSPCA were called to deal with a sick foal and a horse with rope tied around its legs.

It is thought that the horses are being allowed to stray as a result of inadequate fencing. Police officers from the Pudsey area are dealing with one or two incidents of loose horses a week, but they are unable to act unless the animals stray onto a public highway.

Police are aware of the ongoing problem and a spokesperson said: “We do have a problem with stray horses in the area and we liase with other agencies to try and resolve the issue. Police do have the power to seize or impound horses if necessary. If the owners are traced, we can prosecute them, but if not the horses may be sold at auction.”

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