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Figures show horse concerns calls in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

Rio and Zeus after being rescued by the RSPCA.  Photo: Redwings Animal Sanctuary

Rio and Zeus after being rescued by the RSPCA. Photo: Redwings Animal Sanctuary

Redwings Animal Sanctuary

More than 1,000 calls were made to the RSPCA over concerns for the welfare of horses in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire last year, figures from the animal charity reveal.

Case shows work of RSPCA

The work of the RSPCA in rescuing horses was highlighted at a court case earlier this month.

The RSPCA and the Norfolk-based Redwings Horse Sanctuary visited a field in Marl Pit Lane in Tasburgh following a tip-off, and found a horse called Zeus with a severe chest infection and a donkey called Rio who was in pain from its feet.

The animals’ owner Rachel Hindley, 39, of Beecheno Road, Norwich was disqualified from keeping animals for five years, given a suspended eight week prison sentence and fined £200 after she had been found guilty of offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

Zeus and Rio have now been treated and are said to be happy and healthy at a Redwings sanctuary.

The organisation has published a list of calls it received across England last year relating to horses, with a total of more than 22,000 calls.

A breakdown of the figures shows that in Norfolk there were 383 calls with 1,463 horses involved in the complaints.

In Suffolk there were 193 calls relating to 675 horses and in Cambridgeshire there were 466 calls with complaints involving 1,320 horses.

The figures mean there were 1,042 calls made from the three counties.

The RSPCA has released the statistics as part of an appeal to find homes for horses, ponies and donkeys as the number in the charity’s care is now 640, with each equine costing £15 a day to board.

Last year the charity collected 1,506 horses. It says the main factors behind these cases were starvation, untreated wounds and irresponsible ownership.

The RSPCA estimates that there are 4,500 horses still at risk across England.

Claudia Corner, RSPCA equine rehoming officer for East Anglia, said: “We have so many beautiful horses and ponies in our care who have had a bad start in life and really deserve the care of a great owner.

“We have rehomed horses who have gone on to win at shows like Equifest, so it shows that you really can be a winner if you take on a rescue horse.”

To apply to adopt a horse, pony or donkey visit www.rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses

Have you taken in a RSPCA horse? Email anthony.carroll@archant.co.uk

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