Northampton

Wellingborough: Stranded horses rescued from flood waters

Horses with matted coats
Image caption Campaigners concerned about the state of the horses had contacted the RSPCA

More than 40 horses stranded by flood water have been rescued by animal charities.

The sight of the abandoned animals - three of which had died - at Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, caused an outcry.

A petition calling for action to help them was signed more than 11,500 times.

The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare, which recovered the horses, plan to have them checked by a vet before they are rehomed.

"We'll have to get them deloused, dewormed, vaccinated, get their passports, make sure that they are all healthy," said Chris Shaw from World Horse Welfare.

"Once that's done we can hopefully get them into new homes."

Image caption The rescued horses were rounded up into a pen before being checked by vets

The horses were removed from land off Irthlingborough Road, where one horse had lain dead for several days.

The RSPCA said it was in discussions with the landowner over its removal.

The ownership of all the horses is not known, though the RSPCA said it had left messages with one person believed to be the owner to invite them to collect the animals.

The 43 horses saved on Monday were among an estimated 100 which were left with little grazing land and shelter following storms Ciara and Dennis. Others remain on areas near the Embankment in Wellingborough.

Their condition had prompted a petition to be set up by campaigners, with Northamptonshire MP Peter Bone also calling for "urgent action".

Image caption The RSPCA brought water rescue equipment to help round up the horses and keep staff safe

One of the group, Eve, said she was relieved that the horses were finally receiving help.

"We know that there's not going to be any more deaths which is a good thing," she said.

The RSPCA said anyone grazing their horses on the land without permission would face having them removed and potentially seized.

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