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Rider reported to police after girl trying to feed her ponies gets shocked by electric fence

A rider was surprised to hear she had been reported to police by the parent of a child who got an electric shock from her fence — while leaning over it to feed her pony.

Elizabeth Haslam told H&H her daughter called from the house to say police were at the door, but by the time she returned, they had gone. As she was checking CCTV camera footage, which confirmed the officer’s visit, her partner rang to say he had seen a police car parked there.

“My partner had seen a lot of police cars at a petrol station, and we thought maybe there had been a robbery and they were looking for witnesses,” she said. “He rang round different police stations and finally, at one, they said a child had got an electric shock on the fence. We didn’t even know this had happened.”

Elizabeth said she has had the fencing up, complete with a warning sign, for 20 years, to keep the horses in and prevent them from chewing the wooden fence. It sits on the inside of the fence along a track that runs past her field.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard someone had reported that,” she said. “The electric fence failed last spring and I rushed to get a new one because of all the food being thrown into the field; sprout peelings and everything. I even saw a man and his child pulling up daffodils and throwing them in.

“I had to ask another lady not to feed the horses, as she had a bag full of veg chopped up, and she was confused. What’s been happening since is heartbreaking with reports of ponies dying from being fed.

“But for someone to go to the police on me for that — I’d happily to go court about it.”

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The pony kept in that front field is a Shetland on a carefully controlled diet, Elizabeth said, adding: “It’s bad enough doing it, let alone complaining that it’s all gone wrong. That’s true entitlement.”

Elizabeth was then told that the matter had been referred to the environmental health team at her local council. She understands the child concerned had suffered a burn to her armpit while leaning over the fence.

“This mentality has to stop, that they’ve done nothing wrong and it’s my fault,” she said. “She shouldn’t have been on the property or climbing my fence; I’m the one minding my own business, but I could be done for it.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police told H&H she had checked the log and it was “not a police matter” but refused to comment further. Bury Council said if the authority had received a referral from police, or any complaint, “it may result in an investigation and therefore we would be unable to discuss any elements of a complaint”.

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