Brewery to help horse owner move Leicester herd from waterlogged fields

Mark Johnson tries to rescue a horse trapped in flooded fields in Fosse Park

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The owner of flooded fields near Leicester where a herd of horses is being kept says it is trying to get the animals moved.

One horse had to be put down after becoming stranded in waterlogged ground at Fosse Park.

Almost 40,000 people have supported a Facebook campaign to move the remaining 20 horses.

The landowner, Everards Brewery, said the horses had been given fresh hay and "have access to dry land".

The horses' owner said the animals were "in good condition", but would not comment on whether he would move them.

Stephen Gould, managing director of Everards, said the company was helping the man relocate his horses as soon as possible.

Mr Gould said: "The owner of the horses has cooperated with the RSPCA and both he and the RSPCA are in regular contact, including communication between both parties' professional equine vets."

Despite public concerns Mr Gould denied that the land was unsuitable for grazing.

Horses in trouble

  • The RSPCA said the floods have stretched it to "breaking point" with more than 1,500 flood related calls since the beginning of the year
  • It has rescued hundreds of animals from flooded areas since Monday
  • World Horse Welfare estimates 6,000 to 7,000 horses are at risk because of flooding and other welfare issues across the UK

Local farrier Mark Johnson, who started the campaign, said: "They need to move off the site as soon as possible. There is no fresh available water and it is highly likely to be contaminated.

"The horses are thin but in a reasonable condition - the amount of exposure to the elements is not good either.

"The RSPCA need to go to the government and ask for the legislation that they need to deal with this sort of situation," he added.

Mr Johnson was filmed trying to rescue one stranded horse which had to be put down later.

Horse The RSPCA said it would continue to monitor the horses' welfare every day

A RSPCA spokesman said it was monitoring the welfare of the horses and was giving assistance to the owner, but added that no charges were being considered.

"We are addressing some issues with the horse owner including broken and poor fencing and litter in the field and quality of feed," the spokesman said.

"We also want to reassure the public that our officers will continue to attend the location daily to check on the welfare of the horses."

Tony Tyler of World Horse Welfare said: "This is a situation that is being echoed up and down the country. Horses are in situations that are not suitable for them."

He added "it is very difficult for the RSPCA or other organisations to act".

A second "decomposed" body has been found in the fields but a cause of death could not be established, a RSPCA spokesman said.

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