RSPCA crisis over dumped horses

editorial image
Share this article

THE growing numbers of horses being reported as abandoned or neglected is putting the RSPCA in Wigan under greater pressure.

Many horses are suffering from neglect and the charity says it is dealing with large numbers of dead or dying horses being dumped in remote spots with many more being placed in RSPCA care because their owners are accused of cruelty and neglect.

Bill Stubbs, branch manager at Wigan RSPCA, says in some cases, people simply can’t afford to look after the animals.

He said: “It’s really a problem caused by the recession. Animals sometimes go to the bottom of the pile as disposable income goes down.

“A lot of other charities are also working hard, it’s not just the RSPCA who are picking this up. Some issues can come when parents may buy their child a pony and pay a local farm to keep it there. It’s still their responsibility to make sure the money they pay is going towards their animal.”

RSPCA Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde, who oversees the Wigan area, says there are a number of cases from Wigan ongoing at the moment.

For that reason she has been unable to comment on them specifically but says like the rest of the north of England, the borough has seen a rise in the mistreatment of horses.

She said: “One of the sad consequences is that a lot of people are giving up their horses.

“Many horses that are meant to go to sale aren’t being bought and the sellers simply can’t afford their upkeep as they haven’t budgeted for it.”

Recently, the RSPCA has boarded 227 horses in the north alone which are subject to on-going investigations, almost all of which are in private establishments at a cost of between £10-£15 per day. Ms Hyde, addedd: “We seem to be seeing more and more dead and dying horses dumped off the back of trailers in secluded areas, their owners unwilling or unable to pay for veterinary treatment or a ‘knackerman’ to dispose of their body.

“Irresponsible owners and traders can’t care for or sell the stock they already have but are continuing to breed. When those animals suffer or their needs aren’t met organisations like the RSPCA are left to pick up the pieces.

“We are, quite honestly, struggling to keep up with what is a mounting crisis.”