The continuing wet weather in Britain has prompted the RSPCA to issue a warning to livestock owners to ensure their animals are moved well away from areas prone to flooding.

The society has already received numerous phone calls from concerned members of the public about horses in waterlogged fields in parts of Dorset and Berkshire.

Earlier this month in Farnham, Surrey, the RSPCA were called to help the owner of a foal trapped in a flooded field on the River Wey.

Officers spent an hour trying to catch the animal before deciding there was sufficient dry land to leave the animal safely overnight. The following day when the water had subsided the foal was removed to safety.

John Norman, RSPCA inspector for Dorset says: “We have received plenty of warning about the impending rainfall and no-one should take a gamble.

“Most horseowners and farmers know if their land is prone to flooding; our message is move your stock in plenty of time, don’t leave it until the last minute when they are paddling around knee-deep in water.

Rescuing animals from floods or storms risks the lives of our officers and other people involved in the recovery.”

The RSPCA is urging people to take the following precautions:

  • Stable horses, ponies and donkeys well away from flood areas
  • If necessary, move them to higher ground to avoid flood waters
  • Ensure that they have adequate feed and water
  • Provide them with access to shelter

For the latest weather forecast visit the BBC’s online weather service.