Poisoned mare rescued after being found with skin peeling off

  • A horse found with ragwort poisoning so severe her was skin peeling off has been rescued by the RSPCA.

    The charity is now appealing for more information about the animal.

    The piebald mare was found in a field near Vicarage Road, Yalding, Maidstone, Kent. She was seized by police and placed into RSPCA care last Thursday (4 June).

    The mare, who vets estimate to be around three years old, was found with a group of other horses. The charity have so far been unable to trace the owners of the animals.

    She was suffering from severe ragwort poisoning and liver damage, which had led to photosensitivity to the sun.

    Her condition was so bad that a vet said she had to be removed from the sun immediately. The mare has since been named Becky and remains in care.


    “I have never seen a case so bad,” said RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon.

    “Poor Becky’s skin was peeling off, it was awful. Her nose was cracked and incredibly sore with pus seeping out of it, and all the white patches on her legs and body were peeling, and hard like leather. She must have been in such pain.

    “Because of her ragwort poisoning she had developed an extreme photosensitivity to sunlight and we needed to make sure she was taken into the shade immediately.

    “We would be keen to hear from anybody with any information at all about poor Becky and who might own her. In particular, information about any vehicles seen in the area would be useful.

    Becky is now in private boarding and the RSPCA said she is “doing well”.

    “She is being kept in a stable so is not in sunlight, and has had a lot of tests and treatment to make sure she recovers,” added inspector Russon.

    Anyone with any information should call the RSPCA on: 0300 123 8018.

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