Twenty-one horses have been rescued from a site in South Wales following concerns raised by Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC).

Fifteen of them are now in the care of Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk whilst the other six are with Bristol-based charity HorseWorld.

Ten Redwings staff attended the farm on 31 March to help remove the horses, including mares and young foals.

Nicola Markwell from Redwings said: “We worked with the owner to remove the horses which was the best thing in the circumstances.

“The horses we received were very underweight, some of them had lice and badly needed their feet trimming.

“They are much more nervous of humans than we expected with some of them refusing to be caught.

“We have some of our specialist feral horse handlers working with them.

“There is a long road ahead, not only nursing them back into health, but also identifying them and matching them to their passports.”

There are no charges pending against the owner.

Redwings head of welfare Nicolas de Brauwere said: “We were able to intervene using the Animal Welfare legislation to get the ponies signed over into our care.”

Councillor Rob Gough, CCBC cabinet member, said: “This was an excellent example of a local authority working with animal welfare organisations to protect animals in need.

“The operation was a major success and I’d like to thank all concerned for their efforts.”

Redwings is the UK’s largest horse sanctuary, caring for over 1,100 equines, donkeys and mules every day.

Their work is funded solely by donations, for more information please visit: www.redwings.org.uk