RSPCA defends Dorset flood horses action

Horses stranded in flood waters The RSPCA said it has been working with the animals' owner over the last few weeks

Related Stories

The RSPCA has defended itself against criticism over actions taken at the weekend to rescue horses stranded by flood waters in Dorset.

People living near Christchurch said the animal charity was too slow to respond to protect the horses and its officers mismanaged the rescue.

They said a man was trampled and a second group of 19 ponies is still in danger from flood waters.

The charity said the water rescue team did a "fantastic job".

'Horrific behaviour'

Photographer Chris Skone-Roberts set up a Facebook page highlighting concerns about the horses on Friday.

He said: "The behaviour of the RSPCA has been horrific. They didn't rescue them until Saturday which was too late.

"They were swimming up to their chests in water."

The RSPCA said it had been visiting the first group of wild horses in Christchurch daily since Christmas Eve and had advised the owner to move the animals, but legally were unable to act as they were being cared for and had access to dry land

It dispatched a 12-strong team of trained water rescue inspectors to the scene on Saturday and used a boat to rescue the cob ponies from deep water.

Ponies 'stranded'

The spokeswoman said a member of the public offered to help load four horses into a trailer, at which point three horses broke free causing a gate to fall onto another man who was helping to load them.

He suffered a cut to the head and was checked over by an off-duty paramedic at the scene.

A female RSPCA inspector was also forced to dive to the floor to avoid being trampled by the horse but was not injured.

The RSPCA also said it is monitoring the 19 wild ponies stranded further along Stoney Lane in Christchurch on an island in the middle of the River Avon.

The charity said so far the ponies are not in need of rescue as they have "adequate grazing" and attempting a rescue would be "dangerous".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Dorset

Weather

Bournemouth

13 °C 6 °C

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.