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Questions raised as to why a dead horse has been left in a field off Romney Marsh Road, Ashford, for more than a month

The body of a dead horse has been lying abandoned in a field in Ashford for more than a month.

The sad sight can be found on the waterlogged land between Romney Marsh Road and Norman Road, across the road from Asda supermarket.

At first, the carcass was in full view of passing walkers, cars and the other animals in the field.

Warning: graphic image below

There are other horses in the waterlogged field
There are other horses in the waterlogged field

Then, concerned and upset residents decided to cover the body with a tarpaulin.

The wind, however, often blew the material off, and the gesture needed to be repeated throughout December.

Now, due to the weekend’s heavy rainfall, most of the poor horse’s body has been swallowed by water, and only its side can be seen.

The state the animal has been left in has raised questions about why nothing has been done to remove it.

Attempts were made to cover the horse's body
Attempts were made to cover the horse's body

Carole Relf, who previously worked in a vets’ surgery, noticed the dead animal a few weeks ago.

Her husband, Ted, has entered the field to cover the horse with the tarpaulin several times.

Mrs Relf, 60, from Shadoxhurst, said: “It’s been there around a month.

“My husband covered it with a sheet. He has dropped in a few times to cover it.

Heavy rain left the horse surrounded by water
Heavy rain left the horse surrounded by water

“Apparently the horse owner has died. But there are other horses in the field. It’s not fair that they have to see it.

“If it was a human body it would have been removed by now.”

Mr Relf added: “We want to know what it died from – a disease or neglect? If it’s disease, and it’s left in the water, could it spread?”

As well as having to endure living close to the body, the other animals in the field are also suffering as the land is now badly swamped.

"If it was a human body it would have been removed by now" - Mrs Relf

Mrs Relf adds: “The poor things. How can they eat the grass if the field is flooded? There is no hay there.

“And standing in water and mud rots their hooves, and can cause other problems.”

Mrs Relf said she reported her concerns to the RSPCA, and feels the organisation should have stepped in.

She said: “We used to give to the RSPCA, but they don’t seem to do things now.

“Other people must have reported this, so why has nothing been done?”

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) says the landowner has the responsibility of removing the dead animal.

Ted Relf
Ted Relf

A statement said: “The council has notified the landowner and they will be dealing with the removal of the horse."

This is not the first time concerns have been raised before about the horses living in Ashford’s fields.

In February 2014, after the death of four horses in the town, Ashford Borough Council took action. This resulted in more than 20 animals being removed from flood risk areas.

An RSCPA spokesman said: "The RSPCA has contacted the local authority about this issue so that they can contact the landowner or arrange for the removal of the dead horse.

"The RSPCA is a charity and has to concentrate its limited resources on improving welfare of animals who are still alive where it can.

"We would ask people to remember that we have no more power than any other member of the public, and we are doing what we can to help horses."

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