Two foals have died within a week in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, causing outrage among residents.

Locals and passers-by have been shocked at the state of the group of horses being kept on land in Grovebury Road for several months.

In January H&H reported that five horses died due to neglect in the same area. The RSPCA removed eight horses from the fields a week later due to welfare concerns, but several animals remained at the site.

The RSPCA told H&H it “shares serious concerns” and is monitoring the horses.

“The RSPCA is aware of ongoing concerns about horses around the Grovebury Road area, including reports of a dead foal recently,” said a spokesman.

RSPCA officers visit the area on an almost daily basis and have taken independent vets along. They attended the location again yesterday (Tuesday 20 April) when they found a chestnut colt in fair body condition, as well as the body of a newborn foal.”

The RSPCA removed the body of the foal.

“We continue to have concerns about horses on fields in this area, but we can only act within the law,” added the spokesman.

“We cannot simply take horses without the permission of their owners or unless a vet has confirmed they are willing to support a case that animal welfare laws have potentially been broken — which would then allow the police to seize the animals.

“Without this, we have to work to try to protect the welfare of the horses at the location.”

“Along with police, the Horse Trust, World Horse Welfare and the Blue Cross we have already managed to rescue a number of horses from fields close to Grovebury Road and we remain in contact with the landowners over the matter.”

Sergeant Andy Rivers of Leighton Buzzard police station said: “We have had numerous calls about these horses and have been working with the RSPCA and other partners to take this action to ensure their safety.

“We are seeking information about the owner of the horses and would like to hear from anyone who could help us locate them.”

  • Gerri Scargill

    Owners can be hard to track down for these groups of usually coloured ponies that seem to crop up often in very unsuitable places. I don’t think the RSPCA like to tackle them anyway, even if they do know who they are.

  • rodentlover

    Can’t take the horses without permission? Since when did that little technicality worry them? I suspect what is more to the point is that the owner is unknown and therefore cannot be prosecuted.

  • Kim Waterhouse

    I am not surprised to read this report. I have seen first hand what happens when the RSPCA ‘monitor’ horses. If local ones are anything to go by this means they see them very occasionally, chat to the owner who tells them a load of rubbish which they believe, they then tell you the situation is being dealt with, but in reality do nothing. They refuse to update you or even give you an incident number and getting through to them is almost impossible. In the meantime the poor horses get thinner and thinner and then die. If they cannot act because of a flaw in the law then they should be telling us what this flaw is and be campaigning for its change. If they cannot afford to help animals in need then they should tell us loud and clear so something can be done. They had plenty of time and money to throw at the hunting debate but something as fundamental as helping starving horses does not seem to be on their agenda.

  • Julie Anderson

    Absolute rubbish and oh so typical of the rspca. If they really are attending on an almost daily basis and with vets, why are horses still dying?

    The rspca only act ‘within the law’ when it suits them, and if the whereabouts of the owner was known, and the rspca could get another prosecution, the horses would have been removed straight away then, but with no owner to prosecute and no financial gain to them, that’s why they don’t want to know with these horses.

    They regularly seize people’s much loved pets illegally and unlawfully, and then set about persecuting and hounding them in order to get a prosecution for some ‘made up’ act of cruelty and neglect. I should know as a good friend of mine is one of their latest victims, when in reality my friend is a ex employee of the rspca, and has devoted her whole life to loving and caring for animals. She had all her pets seized ‘illegally’ though, and most have been put to sleep unnecessarily!!

    I’m worried sick about her and fear she may end up taking her own life, and she certainly wouldn’t be the first to commit suicide because of the rspca.

    People need to open their eyes and take a good look at the activities of them now, and I guarantee you won’t like what you find!!