IT ISN’T the first dead horse found dumped on the roadside and, unless something is done about the problem, it won’t be the last.
An ‘angry and disgusted’ Chobham resident and her friend, who do not want to be named for fear of reprisals, were met with the sorry sight of the foal’s body, complete with tether, as they drove down Gracious Pond Road on Saturday.
She said: “It was about 9.45am when we saw the emaciated body lying on the side of the road where it meets Stone Hill, which is a common dumping place used by fly-tippers.
“Whilst I appreciate it is not a problem for the police, their reply to my call was ‘We will do our best to trace the owner and have them remove it’.
“Surely the owner wouldn’t have dumped the carcass if they cared. It is not even the fact that the animal has died – it’s probably better off than suffering – but why should we, the public, have to watch the poor bodies rot on the side of the road?
“I don’t think it is acceptable. What’s more, after making seven or eight calls – to the police, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the RSPCA, the council and Highways – no one wants to know.”
The resident said they just kept hitting brick-wall responses such as ‘It’s not our problem’ or ‘We can’t do anything – we will look at it’.
Three hours after phoning, another person rang the police and was told: ‘We have had over 100 calls and will contact the Highways agency’.
Having initially been told it wasn’t their problem because the animal was not on the road, Highways responded to an emergency call five hours later to say they’ll look into it.
On Monday, two days later, the dead foal’s body had still not been removed. It had instead been covered over and a log put on top.
The resident added: “If this poor foal was a pile of rubble, the council would have been straight out. This is disgusting and unacceptable. My friend is 99 per cent certain the pony was one of a group she had reported to DEFRA during the summer.
“If people are permitted to fly-graze animals and treat them poorly and with neglect, someone needs to take responsibility for the problems that arise. The council must be prepared to clear up the mess.
“I imagine this won’t be the last we see. They must not be allowed to turn a blind eye.”
Although not under the jurisdiction of the RSPCA, Millbrook Deputy Manager, Elizabeth Wood, said: “This is quite a common occurrence.”
The body was eventually removed on Monday afternoon.
In November the News & Mail reported a story about a pregnant pony that had been left for months to fly-graze on Chobham’s Burrow Hill Green. An anxious resident believed her to be neglected and was frustrated by the lack of action from agencies.
Hoping for a change in the law to allow authorities to address such issues, World Horse Welfare Chief Executive, Roly Owers, said: “The law is not fit for purpose and local authorities need the tools and resources to act.”