Pictures of a foal wearing a bit and standing on rubbish-strewn land have sparked outrage.

The photographs have been circulating across social media and members of the public have urged the RSPCA to intervene.

In the pictures, the youngster is wearing a rope halter and a bit, which is tied to a roller, and is standing by a barbed-wire fence.

The photos were allegedly taken at a travellers’ site in Esholt, West Yorks, and it has been claimed online that there are eight other horses there.

“The RSPCA has serious concerns about the welfare of the horse in the image which is circulating on social media,” a spokesman told H&H on Tuesday (22 March).

“The RSPCA has been to this travellers’ site several times and is checking on the welfare of the animals there regularly — most recently yesterday (Monday 21 March) — and will be making further visits over the next few days.”

He added their officers “have yet to see” a youngster as depicted in the photographs.

foal bit3“Contrary to the postings on social media, we do not think it is okay for any equine to be broken in like this,” he said.

“We cannot go into details of an ongoing investigation, but we want to reassure the public we are doing all we can to help these horses.

“We are reviewing all the new information that has come into us and are taking this extremely seriously.”

The organisation also responded to social media users, confirming they were investigating.

“We too share the concerns of the public and our inspectors regularly visit Esholt travellers’ site after complaints are received,” they tweeted.

An inspector visited the site on Monday (21 March) after several complaints from members of the public that morning.

“A number of young horses were seen, but the horse pictured in the photographs being posted on social media was not there,” they added.

“Please be assured that everyone who works for the RSPCA does so because of a deep concern for animal welfare and we will continue to monitor the situation and ensure our advice is actioned when issues have been identified.”