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Plans in place to rescue up to 23 horses living in flooded fields off Romney Marsh Road in Ashford

14 February 2014
by Samantha Williams

Action is being taken to rescue horses living in the flooded fields surrounding Ashford.

Concerns were raised for the wellbeing of the animals in the fields off Romney Marsh Road, Norman Road, Ashford Road and off the A2070 following a report that up to four had died in the last week.

On Wednesday, Ashford Borough Council made the decision to move the horses following fears the weather is only going to get worse.

Some of the horses in Ashford have already been removed

Some of the horses in Ashford have already been removed

Overnight, six horses from the land near The Riverside Inn, in Torrington Road, were removed by their owners.

A total of 19 horses have now been moved by their owners to alternative accommodation or to high ground where they will be monitored, the council has revealed.

A spokeswoman for Ashford Council said: "As of 9am today, the council is working to move the remaining horses whose owners have not been identified or who have refused to move them out of the flood risk area.

"Our priority is to move all the horses out of the flood risk area..." - Ashford Borough Council

"Our primary concern throughout this process has been moving the horses out of immediate danger ahead of the severe weather forecast for the weekend.

"We have reported the situation to the RSPCA and they will investigate the horses’ ongoing welfare.

"We would like to thank all members of the public who have contacted us offering to help the horses. The number of people volunteering land, transport and their time to help move the animals has been overwhelming, and has been greatly appreciated by all involved."

Earlier this week, calls were made by Ashford mayor Cllr David Smith to the RSPCA to move the horses from the boggy land they were living on.

He said: "Some of the animals are looking really distressed. They are suffering.
“We need to see something being done. We want the horses out of those conditions."

A dead horse found dumped in Orlstone Woods

A dead horse found dumped in Orlstone Woods

It is believed up to three animals have died over the last week in Ashford. A fourth was found dead after being dumped in the entrance to Orlstone Woods, near Shadoxhurst, by a dog walker.

The RSPCA have responded, saying they are in the grip of a horse crisis and are overwhelmed with concerns over equine welfare. 

Report animals trapped by floods during the severe weather to the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. 

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