Police are investigating after the bodies of two horses that had been shot and set on fire were found in a woodland area in Suffolk on Sunday (14 December)

Officers received a call from a member of the public who discovered the two carcasses — believed to be a mare and a yearling — in King’s Forest, near North Stow.

Suffolk police confirmed that the horses appeared to have been set on fire before being left at the Forestry Commission site.

“I suspect they were either not needed, not required or ill, and to save cost, somebody has decided to take the law into their own hands,” said PC Mark Bryant.

A senior field officer from Redwings Horse Sanctuary attended yesterday (Tuesday 16 December) to help the police with their investigations. A spokesman from the charity told H&H that it was “shocking scene”.

“Although we don’t know the circumstances in this case, as the value of horses has plummeted we have seen more and more situations where horses are dumped, abandoned or neglected. This is either because owners can no longer care for them or as they are considered of such little value that their owners don’t consider them worthy of a humane end,” the spokesman added.

“It’s a terrible situation and shows exactly why horse ownership and breeding should never be treated lightly ­— there are too many horses out there and not enough homes and it’s the poor horses at the bottom of the chain who suffer when things go wrong.”

The police also reiterated that it was illegal to dispose of bodies in this manner.

“If you do own any pets or horses that do have to be but down, there are ways to go about it,” PC Bryant added.

“What you can’t do is just go out into the countryside, shoot animals and dump the carcasses.

“There are ways and means of doing this and this is way outside of what I would consider to be acceptable.”

The RSPCA also told H&H that they were aware of the “distressing incident” and they were offering the police any assistance they required.

Anyone with any information should contact PC Mark Bryant on 101 or 01473 613500