Warning: Contains graphic images.
A horse sanctuary volunteer has called for action over the equine crisis after discovering the body of a foal discarded near a river.
The newborn foal, which was still attached to its umbilical cord was discovered last Wednesday near Pigeon Lane in Hope. The ‘Colt’ (male) was found partially decomposed with its head submerged under the water.
Jane Lloyd, who volunteers at H.A.C.K in Llay was alerted of the situation by a fellow volunteer who found the foal while walking with her young son and dog.
Jane, who has been a volunteer for 18 years, described the event as “one of the saddest things I have ever seen.”
“I’ve sadly seen dead horses just left in fields and stables to rot but this one disturbed me.” said Jane.
“I was angry, the owner should have been more respectful of the foal if it did die when it was born.
“I then felt upset, its always sad seeing a dead animal but one so young is very upsetting.”
Situations such as these are becoming increasingly common, with horse charities like H.A.C.K struggling to care for the level of horses and ponies that need help.
The number of horses that equine charities are caring for has increased significantly the past five years, with the RSPCA estimating that 6000 horses are currently at risk, with a further 2,800 horses already in charity centres.
The current economic climate means that some owners are cutting back on veterinary costs, routine care, shelter and food. As a result horses, which can cost up to £100 a week to care for are suffering.
Despite costs, horses are continuing to be bred as many dealers and some horse owners believe they can make a profit from selling the animals on. Due to this many horses are being sold cheaply or are disposed of.
Jane said: “The equine crisis in Wales and England is getting worse by the minute.
“We, as a fully registered charity and Member of N.E.W.C. (National Equine Welfare Council) have to turn away many horses and ponies every day, from all over the country.”
Jane believes that more needs to be done to stop similar incidents from occurring in the future.
“There needs to be laws in place to prevent the indiscriminate breading.” said Jane.
“Stallions should be licensed and mares should be graded before they are bred from. Too many people think that their horses and ponies are the best in the world, and rightly so, many horse owners love their animals to bits.
“But that doesn’t mean they are a good enough animal to breed from. They may have conformation problems that may be passed on to their foals.”
More information about the equine can be found on the RSPCA website : http://www.rspca.org.uk/ImageLocator/LocateAsset?asset=document&assetId=1232730977252&mode=prd