Sun, 25 Feb 2018
POLICE have launched an investigation after a dead horse was found tied to a tree at Upper Denford in Hungerford.
The animal was spotted by shocked members of the public, who alerted the authorities on Monday morning, February 19.
A neighbourhood and wildlife officer with the Hungerford police team, Pc David Burleigh, attended with officials from the RSPCA and the black and white cob was covered with a canvas so children being taken to school were spared the sight.
Pc Burleigh said the grim discovery in Denford Lane was reported around 6am and added: “We’ve been unable to find a microchip on the animal.”
He said it was impossible to tell whether the horse had been alive when first tied to the tree.
However, because its legs were tied together, he speculated that it may have died elsewhere and its carcass been tied to the tree in order to drag it from a vehicle to dump it.
It is a criminal offence to abandon a horse, attracting a possible 51-week prison sentence, a fine of up to £20,000, or both.
Nevertheless, equine rescue groups have reported a dramatic rise in the number of animals being abandoned in recent years, with the economic squeeze being cited as one possible reason as unscrupulous owners seek to avoid the cost of veterinary care, feed and shelter.
Nationally, about 7,000 horses are said to be at risk, with many charities at, or near to, capacity.
Since July, 2009, it has been an offence to keep a horse that has not been microchipped and issued with a passport.
Pc Burleigh appealed for anyone who saw a vehicle in the area around 6am or before, or anyone who has information, to contact Thames Valley Poilice via the 101 number and quote the reference number 43180052598.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.