South East Wales

45 suffering horses put down in RSPCA welfare action

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Media captionAbout 200 animals have been assessed after concerns were raised

Forty-five horses have had to be put down on a site in the Vale of Glamorgan because vets found they were suffering.

A total of about 200 animals have been assessed after officials from the RSPCA, Vale of Glamorgan council and Redwings horse sanctuary visited the location on a number of occasions.

The RSPCA said vets have been assessing and treating any horses that need help over several days this week.

Those other animals which need treatment are still receiving it.

The animal welfare charity said: "Sadly, 45 horses were in such a suffering state that they have had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice."

The RSPCA says its investigation is continuing and it cannot give further information.

The news of the horses' deaths came after earlier in the day the RSPCA welcomed the Control of Horses (Wales) Bill's progress through stage two of the Welsh assembly's' legislative process.

The legislation is aimed at tackling illegal horse grazing, or fly-grazing.

The Welsh government has said it plans to "fast track" the bill through the Senedd so local authorities have the powers as soon as possible.

The changes would allow swift intervention to tackle fly grazing, said ministers.

Natural Resources and Food Minister Alun Davies has said that fly grazing and the abandonment of horses had had a "truly shocking" impact on some south Wales communities in recent years.

In a statement earlier on Thursday, RSPCA Cymru said: "Though not a panacea, the bill promises to be a positive step forward and will enable local authorities to better deal with fly-grazing and abandonment."

But after details of its welfare operation emerged it added: "Although the animals in the Vale of Glamorgan are kept on private land, we welcome the Welsh government's work on the issue of fly grazed and abandoned horses and hope that Westminster will follow suit so that more effective legislation can be introduced throughout England as well as Wales."

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