Emaciated mare found dying while giving birth could not be saved *Warning: upsetting image*

A “painfully thin” mare found dying, mid-way through giving birth to a foal who had also died, had to be put down despite the best efforts of passers-by and a vet.

The RSPCA is appealing for information on the piebald mare, thought to be around five years old, who was found with approximately 20 other horses in a field at Mill Lane, North Warnborough, yesterday (22 April).

RSPCA inspector Nikki Denham said members of the public were scooping water into the mare’s mouth and trying to help her deliver the foal. It is thought a youngster found standing beside her was her foal from last year.

“In all my years as an RSPCA inspector, I’ve never seen anything quite so distressing and upsetting as this,” she said.

“The mare was painfully thin and collapsed on the floor, and she had only managed to partly give birth to her foal. Tragically the foal had died during the birth, and it was just so upsetting that his lifeless little body had to be pulled out of the mare, who was in such a grave condition herself.

*Warning: upsetting image*

“The weather was really hot and the kind people who had found her had tried to give her water, and I called a vet out immediately in the hope there was something that could be done to save her.”

The exhausted, emaciated mare was suffering from a severe parasite infestation and the vet made the decision, with permission from the police, to put her down to end her suffering.

“As a previous horse owner myself I am shocked and completely appalled by this tragic incident. I’m so upset about it as I’ve never seen a thinner horse than this, and the most distressing aspect is that it was totally avoidable if her owner had given her the proper care and attention she so desperately needed,” said the inspector.

“I’d like to thank the members of the public, some of whom were children, who stayed with the mare and showed her such kindness. Sadly they had to witness such a traumatic incident.”



The inspector said the charity relies on the public to be its “eyes and ears” and urged anyone with information to come forward.

“Landowners must remember as well that they also have the ability to stand up for the welfare of horses kept on their land, and use the powers they have under the Control of Horse Act 2015 to make fly-grazing more difficult for irresponsible owners,” the inspector added.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the charity in confidence on 0300 123 801.

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