BLAENAU Gwent and Caerphilly councils have worked in partnership with equine charities and organisations from around the UK to find new homes for almost 50 horses and ponies on Manmoel Common.

Earlier this month animal rights campaigners came together to protest against council plans to seize the horses, believing they were going to be culled. Around 11 protestors turned up after the councils announced the horses and ponies on Manmoel Common would be seized if an owner did not come forward.

At the time a Caerphilly council spokeswoman would neither confirm or deny whether the animals would be destroyed if the owners or new homes cannot be found.

The two councils took ownership of the horses on Tuesday July 8, after the owners failed to come forward and claim them, but since then officers from both councils have worked together to find suitable permanent homes for the ponies and horses.

The council has been liaising with Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk, Carmarthen-based Lluest Horse, and Pony Trust and the Mare & Foal Sanctuary in Devon, and these groups have agreed to receive all the animals in the near future.

A spokesman for Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly County Borough Councils, said: “We are delighted these organisations have come forward to take possession of these beautiful horses. We would like to thank all parties for their efforts in providing a positive result to this situation.”

This outcome will signify the end of a year-long project between the councils and local charities and groups to address welfare issues associated with the animals on the common.

Many of the horses on the common had no known owners, and historically there were issues with the horses and ponies’ basic needs not being met – including insufficient feed, problems with worms and lice, and no breeding controls.