‘How would you feel if someone fed your pet?’: Police warn against feeding others’ horses

  • A police force has issued a strong message urging people not to feed horses without owners’ permission, warning that their actions could kill.

    Nottingham Police’s East Bassetlaw rural beat manager and wildlife officer Gareth Mitchell said he wanted to increase awareness about the risks of feeding other people’s equines.

    “Throughout the last 12 months many of us have been enjoying the outdoors and when people encounter equines in fields they are tempted to feed them treats. These treats range from sweets, vegetables, fruit and even grass cuttings but I need to stress how dangerous this can be to them,” he said.

    “I believe many people act with no malicious intent and are simply unaware of the risks certain foods or grass cuttings can pose to the animals but I am urging people to stop feeding any equine that does not belong to them as this can cause serious illness and be potentially life-threatening.”

    PC Mitchell explained to those who do not know that horses are unable to vomit.

    “This means that any food ingested has to pass through the animal and the risk of choking is high,” he said.

    “The owners of these animals keep them on a diet suitable for their health and well-being, and sudden over-feeding can lead to colic, bowel obstructions and even death as well as other health complications,”

    “If you do not own the animal, or have permission of the owner, then do not feed it. Most of these animals are kept as pets and used for pleasure, rather than work, and I am sure most of us have a pet at home so I request that people think about this; how would you feel if someone fed your pet something which could potentially lead to the animal being put to sleep?”

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    Newark Police, North and South Wheatley Parish Council, Bassetlaw councillor Lynne Schuller and Retford West Ward councillor Helen Tamblyn are among those to share the post on social media

    “Something to keep in mind if out for a walk,” said Ms Tamblyn.

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