A Bristol police community support officer (PCSO) has been given an award in recognition of her work helping fly-grazed horses.
Bristol charity HorseWorld gave PCSO Paula Perry an oustanding services in equine welfare award on 12 August , a trophy made from a horseshoe from HorseWorld’s rescue colt Joey.
In the first five months of this year, officers covering the Kingsweston and Avonmouth areas of the county were called out to 32 incidents relating to horses being loose in the road.
Fly-grazing is an acute problem in the in the Avonmouth area due to the large amount of semi-industrial land.
“From a policing perspective, the main issue here is the risk to public safety, as horses can and do cause accidents when they get on to a road,” said PCSO Perry.
“There was an incident earlier this year where two horses were killed in the road after they were hit by a lorry.
“It is also very time-consuming and requires a lot of police resources.”
PCSO Perry has been making use of the Control of Horses Act, which was brought into force last year, forming a working group with partners including Bristol City Council and other landowners such as Tesco, the National Grid and the Highways Agency.
Since then, she has removed 36 horses from fields they should not have been in, and successfully re-homed them through various horse charities, including HorseWorld.
One of these animals was Joey (pictured, above and top), who was rescued from a water-filled ditch in February.
He was suffering from hyperthermia and was “hours away from death”.
Joey has since made a full recovery and is a much-loved resident of HorseWorld.
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“The approach PCSO Perry has taken to the problem, to ensure better lives for the horses and a safer environment for people travelling in the Avonmouth area, has been fantastic,” said managing director of HorseWorld, Mark Owen.
“She has made such a huge difference in a relatively short period of time and as a consequence, there haven’t been any calls about stray horses in the road in Avonmouth recently.”
“We are so grateful for everything she has done to improve the lives for these poor horses, which are often left without sufficient food, water or veterinary care.”