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Home   Dartford   News   Article

Animal welfare experts are 'stretched to breaking point' with the number of horses being abused as another is dumped in Farningham

19 March 2014
by Julia Roberts

Just days before a dead horse was found dumped in Farningham, the RSPCA announced horse welfare problems were huge and the country was in “the grip of a horse crisis”.

The charity has more than 800 horses in its care – more than five times the number it actually has places for at its four equine centres nation-wide.

Dead horse that was dumped in Maplescombe Lane, Farningham

Dead horse that was dumped in Maplescombe Lane, Farningham

Ironically, it is the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar.

Figures show that in Kent alone in 2012, officers dealt with 1,126 welfare incidents involving 3,871 horses.

But the charity fears the number could be the “tip of the iceberg” as these are only reported cases.

Officers are investigating the latest incident in Maplescombe Lane but the cause of the horse’s death was said to be unclear.

“We are stretched to breaking point with about 125 places at our equine centres but more than 800 horses in our care."

Spokesman Katya Mira said: “We would urge anyone with information about this to share it with us.

“When the horse’s owner is unknown, the landowner is legally responsible for the removal of dead animals on their property.

"In this case we have been told the landowner has been informed and is aware that he needs to remove this body.”

The charity is calling on the government to introduce legislation to tackle the problem of fly-grazing and abandonment.

Ms Mira said: “The problems we are facing with horse welfare at the moment are huge. The country is in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses.

“We are stretched to breaking point with about 125 places at our equine centres but more than 800 horses in our care.

"We want to see greater enforcement of microchipping and passporting legislation so we can identify those horses left to graze on other people’s land.”

The number of horses taken in or rescued by the charity in England last year rose by 69 per cent compared with 2012.

Anyone with information about the horse found in Farningham, or concerns about animal welfare, can call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

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