Neglected horse numbers increase in Northamptonshire

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The number of sick and injured horses being taken into care in Northamptonshire is rapidly rising, according to the RSPCA.

The animal charity said it had taken in 30 horses across Northamptonshire and Leicestershire in 2011 and was struggling to cope.

This compares to about 15 horses cared for in 2010.

Irresponsible owners who breed horses without giving the right level of care are being blamed for the problem.

Inspector Jim Lucas, from the RSPCA, said: "People are skimping on the preventative treatment like routine worming and check-ups."

Jailed and banned

The RSPCA said boarding alone could cost in the region of £50 a day, before looking at treatment.

"Having a horse as a pet is a big commitment, it's not just about finding food for them," said Mr Lucas.

A couple from Wellingborough were recently jailed for 16 weeks and banned from keeping animals after admitting cruelty to seven ponies seized by the RSPCA.

Because the couple refused to hand ownership of the animals to the charity the ponies had to be kept at a boarding house paid for by the RSPCA. The fee came to £18,000.

RSPCA officers said this was a common occurrence that costs the charity much needed funds.

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