Northampton

Wellingborough: 'Neglected' horses found dead in storm-flooded field

Horse in flooded field
Image caption The horses' usual grazing fields have been flooded, leaving them little shelter or food

An MP has called for "urgent action" to help horses stranded on flooded fields, after three of the animals died.

Up to 100 horses graze on fields along the Embankment in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

But bad weather, including Storms Ciara and Dennis, has flooded the fields, limiting their shelter and food.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said he had asked the RSPCA and the government to intervene, while a petition demanding action has amassed 9,000 signatures.

Mr Bone, the member for Wellingborough and Rushden, tweeted his concerns on Monday.

Ownership of the horses and the land they are living on is unclear.

The RSPCA said it had been called last week and put a mare to sleep after finding her in poor health.

Inspectors have been monitoring the state of the horses, and said they had enough dry ground and hay to eat, despite the flooding.

A spokesman said: "We understand and share the frustration about ongoing problems with horses in this area, which is made difficult to tackle when we cannot link individual horses with owners."

The petition, started by Help for Wellingborough Horses, calls for reforms to animal welfare laws. It claims horses in the town "are neglected, at risk of harm and are NOT adequately cared for".

Image caption The RSPCA has said it is monitoring the condition of the horses

Kelsey, a volunteer campaigning to protect the animals - who did not wish to give her full name - said the group had been "on the phone constantly to the RSPCA, the [local] council, fire brigade, all sorts".

She added the situation was "clearly not right for these horses."

The Borough Council of Wellingborough asked anyone with information about the horses' ownership to contact the council, the RSPCA or Trading Standards.

Leader Martin Griffiths said: "I find it appalling that the owners of such beautiful creatures can treat them in such a horrible way."

A chief inspector at the RSPCA told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme in 2018 that horses were being regularly "fly-tipped" and left to die by irresponsible owners.

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