34 starving horses rescued from ‘horrific’ sites in Caerphilly
1:30pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
AROUND 34 starving horses, foals and ponies have been rescued from two “horrific” sites in Caerphilly where they were forced to live alongside the bodies of animals which had already died.
Caerphilly Borough Council’s Trading Standards Department led the rescue on Thursday night, with expert help from Norfolk-based Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Four of the horses were taken to the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies charity in Monmouth, where they are being cared back to health. A member of staff said they are in “a pretty bad state” with one suffering a swollen eye and face.
Redwings sent three lorries, two vets and eight handling staff to the site to bring back 26 horses and ponies to the Norfolk sanctuary. Four others have been taken to HorseWorld in Bristol.
A Redwings spokeswoman said: "While Redwings takes part in many welfare cases involving individual horses and groups, this is easily on a par with the Amersham rescue where living horses were found among carcasses."
Nic de Brauwere, Redwings’ head of welfare and vet said: "It was an horrific scene, with many extremely weak and malnourished ponies.
"There was virtually no grass so while the site appeared very scenic, there was little or nothing for them to eat.
"They are in varying stages of emaciation; we have given them a condition rating which matches the Amersham horses.
"Some of the horses are already dead, and others would almost certainly have died if we had not intervened when we did. I can only describe it by saying it was as if they were queuing to die.
"It was an utterly depressing and heart-breaking scene I hoped I would never have to witness again."
Cllr David Poole, Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services at Caerphilly County Borough Council said: "I am appalled that these horses and ponies could be kept in conditions such as these, and this was an excellent example of a local authority working with animal welfare organisations to protect animals in need.
"The operation was a success and I'd like to thank all concerned for their efforts. These horses are now receiving expert care to get them back to health."