RSPCA to monitor ponies after death

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The RSPCA will continue to monitor the condition of ponies grazing in a Rushden field after one was found dead.

A female Shetland pony was discovered dead in a small brook behind the Needle & Awl pub in Northampton Road by concerned members of the public last week.

They believe it had been dead for a few days. Four other ponies still graze on the site.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We are aware of the ongoing concerns relating to horses in this area, and an officer does monitor them on a regular basis.

“Our officer is in constant contact with a vet regarding their welfare.

“At the moment the horses do have access to water, food and shelter and it is deemed by law that their welfare needs are being met.

“The RSPCA cannot ask the police to remove animals without the support of a vet’s recommendation, which will only be given if the horses’ needs are not being met or they are suffering.

“We will continue to monitor these horses and take appropriate action on vet advice should their circumstances change.

“The RSPCA attended with a vet two weeks ago when the pony was diagnosed as suffering from choke.

“The pony was given a course of antibiotics and steroids and given a full examination and had no other underlying health problems.

“She was then monitored while she recovered. The death is not being treated as suspicious and she had no injuries. She had also recovered from her bout of choke so we and a vet believe that this was sadly an unrelated incident.”

One local resident, who asked not to be named, said she believed the ponies belonged to local Travellers. She said: “I would like to see the owners be made to account for the welfare of these animals.”

Last year councillors in nearby Wellingborough were forced to introduce a new policy to prevent horses being left illegally by Travellers to graze on council-owned land in the borough.

The local authority said it would always be an issue for the area because Travellers are permanently resident in the borough.