Kent

Dead pony found tied up and dumped near Ashford in Kent

It is believed the mare was pregnant, or recently in-foal when she died
Image caption It is believed the mare was pregnant, or recently in-foal when she died

The RSPCA is investigating after a dead pony was found with its front legs tied together and tethered to a gate.

The charity believes the mare had been taken to the spot in Bethersden near Ashford, Kent, and dumped after her death.

Local animal welfare campaigner Fredericka Vann said it followed a spate of sick and emaciated horses being abandoned in nearby fields.

The cause of the pony's death is not yet known.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "This is really upsetting and we're concerned about what may have happened to this poor pony before her death.

'In foal'

"This pony was micro chipped and we will be following up the details from her chip.

"We believe she is around 10 years old and it appears she may have recently been in foal."

Ms Vann said it could be part of a spate of pony maltreatment the area.

She said she had been highlighting equine-related abuse for more than two years and had been targeted by those she claims to be irresponsible owners, after reporting them to the police and RSCPA.

"I've had threats to burn my house down, I've had threats to kill my animals, however it is not acceptable to turn a blind eye... they [ponies and horses] don't have a voice," she said.

Kent Police confirmed the force had received reports of malicious threats towards Ms Vann.

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