Vets put down 100 neglected horses after 400 are found living knee-deep in mud

November 22, 2013 | by | 27 Comments

Horrified vets were forced to put more than 100 horses to sleep and rescue 300 more after they were found living in appalling conditions.

Animal charities swooped into “one of the toughest and largest rescues of all time” to remove the 400 horses at the “deeply upsetting” site after receiving a tip off.

They were forced to crawl through knee deep mud and drenched fields to reach the badly neglected animals and rounded up more than 300 horses to remove to places of safety.

Neglected horses that were found by recuers

Neglected horses that were found by rescuers

Sadly 100 more had to be put to sleep after their injuries were considered too serious to recover.

Other animals including sheep, geese and dogs were also taken away.

Horseworld, based in Whitchurch, Bristol, were among the charities who assisted the RSPCA in the rescue at the site in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales.

“Not all of the horses counted in the field pulled through and over 100 equines had to be put to sleep,” Director of Welfare Jerry Watkins said.

Neglected horses that were found by rescuers

Neglected horses that were found by rescuers

Neglected horses that were found by rescuers

Neglected horses that were found by rescuers

“This decision was not taken lightly, but it became clear as the team assessed each horse individually that a number of the horses were in such a state of suffering that there was only one option for them.

“I am incredibly proud of HorseWorld and that we were able to support the other organisations involved.

“This situation is evidence that the equine crisis is worsening and could get worse as we go into what is predicted to be a very harsh winter.

“This is the most awful welfare situation I have faced due to the number of horses and resources involved.”

HorseWorld Trust, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Vale of Glamorgan Council officials and the RSPCA spent over a week working together to assess the horses’ health following the rescue beteem November 12 and 17.

Alun Davies, the Minister for Natural Resources has commented that, “I am grateful to all those involved for their swift and effective action which has relieved the suffering of these horses and I would like to pay tribute to the Vale of Glamorgan council for their robust response to this emergency.”

The RSPCA dubbed it a: “tragic situation that was hugely upsetting for all those involved”.

A spokeswoman for the charity said it was an ongoing animal welfare investigation and they could not provide further information.

Category: News

Comments (27)

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  1. Debra Schroer says:

    Please do tell how you manage to check up on rescues? Isn’t there some type of protocol in order to make sure things never get out of hand? If you don’t have one, design one, and make everyone report to you in order to be able to quarterly checks. Insane to see this, when a simple check by local authorities could have avoided such a heartbreaking scenario.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Second pic is of cows?

  3. Sally says:

    as they stated previously, why has no one been named for charges of animal abuse? and also the horses do not appear to be underfed and are of good weight. Not to mention the fact they can find no one who was ACTUALLY there this supposed day. The second picture IS of cows. This story is a hoax. A sad attempt at that.

    • Anonymous says:

      this is not a hoax I have reported the owner of these horses before. he fly grazes and is now in prison for cruelty to horses

  4. AGray says:

    The horses in the first pic don’t look thin… neither do the dead ones. Where are the pics of the starving and neglected horses?

  5. NotAbreed says:

    The second pic IS of horses. I can see that even on my phone. They’re Gypsy Cobs.
    They do appear in good weight generally. But standing knee deep in slop for extended periods of time causes all manner of health issues.
    I don’t believe this is a fake story.
    And the article didn’t say it was a rescue that had left the horses there. Do you people not know how to read (or see for that matter)??
    This actually looks like a breeding situation, considering they’re all the same breed.
    I suspect they just left a couple of studs in pasture with all the mares, and a few years later you end up with this.
    Sad.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i fully understand, that it was a hugely upsetting for the ones, pulling the trigger,just have a good look at the horses, all are wel fedded and looking healthy enough, so if i may ask: why where those horses really killed ?? Because they had muddy feet, or just “simply” because they belonged to tom price ?? It is my opion that it is really, to say the least, very strange that the rspca is never giving any real evidence that there where really neglegted horses and what happend to the other “rescued” horses and where and how are they this very day ?? it is my opion that there is something really strange and secretly on this case, witch cost a lot of innocent horse lives.

  7. Michael Stegman says:

    Journalists must be democracy watchdog and should always check information from one source twice. In this case, the journalists relied on information from the RSPCA and Redwings. This is an example of poor journalism. These pictures were taken by the RSPCA / Redwings and no journalists have questioned the information.

    PLEASE SEE IF YOU CAN FIND ANY NEGLET AND ABUSSED HORSES IN THOSE PICTURES.

    This is the conditions the horses are kept under in the care of RSPCA and Redwings:
    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.616091815117756.1073741831.614456815281256&type=1

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.614462361947368.1073741828.614456815281256&type=3

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.615128118547459.1073741830.614456815281256&type=3

    This is a statement from Luanne Bishop Peters who witnessed the killing of those animals:

    This is a very long story stretching back 2 yrs. This has been 2 yrs of constant harassment by the police, RSPCA & Local authorities. Tom would have been arrested at least 20-25 times (maybe more) nearly all of which were just to be awkward! The days and days and days that have been wasted in police stations, interviews, courts is quite frankly unbelieveible. He was even put on remand for 8 days for something there was NO evidence for.
    This man has been harassed beyond anyone’s imagination. The police have seized anything at all to be awkward, they have bullied land owners and feed suppliers to stop dealings with Tom. They have stopped vets coming out etc etc they do not want Tom to have the horses but have stopped any being sold by taking all the passports!
    They have seized vehicles too. The police are at the route of this and have set about destroying a man’s business because his face does not fit! It is nothing short of racism! How can u insist that someone who is illiterate must have written agreements? Surely if the landowner agrees verbally it should be adequate?!
    How can u give someone an ASBO for straying stock??! When the asbo was very questionably pushed thro the magistrates court adverts wents out everywhere about it, so anyone and everyone that had any issues with Tom simply went and opened gates or cut fences!! Eye witnesses confirm this yet the police did nothing to them!!
    A crown court judge commented (as an aside) that he would not have allowed ANY of the asbo conditions at all. The police sergeant that put all the paperwork together for the asbo openly told me that he would turn a blind eye to drink driving!!!!
    I cd go for hrs with the horiffic events we have been put through all down to the police – they did say to me though that if Tom did not attend a meeting with them then they would make his life hell – they are true to their word on that!!!
    There was more horses than usual on Tom’s private land but this is because the police and so called ‘do gooders’ have had him chucked out of every field he rented and the horses can not be sold as the police have the passports …….and round and round in circles we go!

    The horses that were taken are not welfare cases!! They have removed them from, admittedly,mucky fields fed on hayledge to more mucky fields fed on hayledge!? This is nov/dec in wales – it’s going to b wet and muddy! But it’s ok for the rspca to keep horses in the same (or worse) conditions from where they were taken!!
    They should NEVER EVER have been removed in the first place!!
    When i first saw all the rspca an LA at the yard i was very upset, Tom was still in prison – i asked them if they could not just leave him alone for 5 minutes? I then told them all that they would not b happy until the man hung himself – the lead officer from Trading Standards laughed!! To which i said disgustedly ‘u think this is all funny?’ i was then told not to get upset!!
    They decended on Tom’s yard and left it like a bomb had gone off, they never even cleaned up their litter!! Whatever drinks they had, they just dropped their rubbish.

    • Anonymous says:

      this is not a hoax I have reported the owner of these horses before. he fly grazes and is now in prison for cruelty to horses
      I have personally paid for a vet to treat 2 horses he had in Cardiff with me. Another was so thin I called the RSPCA who didnt even come out so I fed it myself for 4 months once it was fatter he took it away. I have rounded up loose horses in Cardiff that he owns, causing mayhem on main road through Cardiff. Your last sentance is histerical he leaves his horses to live amongst glass tins and rusty nails. I am a law abiding caring person. He is not. His father was.

  8. Anonymous says:

    isnt there, at least,one good journalist, who goes for the true and justice and want to investigate this ( smelly)action, done by the rspca and see for him/her self what happend to the , so called “rescued horses?? come on you all i dare you !!!

  9. William collard says:

    This case needs investigating, you haven’t got to be a stockman to see that the horses in the photograph are in first class condition, this must be one of the worst cases of injustice ever seen in this country, the authorities have come in and killed or stolen the mans horses, I understand that the surviving ones are being fostered out to people at a cost of up to 400 pounds plus 55 pounds a year membership fee, no wonder these so called welfare groups got in and grabbed as many as they could..

  10. Michael Stegman says:

    Someone broke into a field a week ago and shot more than 50 horses at The Gover near Swansea. Why hasnt this been in the media yet ?

    I know who it was if any reporters wants to know …..

  11. Anonymous says:

    If Mr Price was in prison, who was looking after the horses? Mr Price received an ASBO for repeatedly fly grazing along the M4 corridor, he was warned numerous times but failed to comply and continued to tether illegally. Mr Price did not receive multiple counts of animal cruelty with no evidence. Mr Price failed to look after his horses properly and provide them with the basic care, and instead allowed them to continuously breed with numbers running into thousands. Every one is quick to point the finger at the welfare charities: well what do you want the welfare charities to do? There are hundreds and thousands of these horses, the charities are full to bursting, and lets be clear: IT WAS NOT THE CHARITIES WHO PUT THESE HORSES IN THIS SITUATION; thy are just the ones left to deal with the mess left behind. These horses deserve better: and if that means that they have to be put to sleep, then so be it, its a better alternative than starving on a daily basis, and dying of neglect. The fly-grazing and indiscriminate breeding, needs to stop, all horses not passported should be seized, its time everyone became accountable for their animals.

    • Anonymous says:

      youre so busy with youre maine en only goal: to smear tom price’s name and take his horses ( and his life goal)away from him,as a angry neighboure you are, full of envy of tom price, that youre to blind to see that these horses where fully fed and looking healthy, and just by saying: if that means that they have to put to sleep ( they where shot !! )then so be it, you really show youre real face, you don’t care about these horses, or there feelings and don’t care less of the terrible state the remained horses are in till this very day…mrs.vanah

      • Anonymous says:

        I am very sorry, but I am not Mrs Vanah, and I can assure you as I stand that I have no affiliation with Vanah or anyone, I live in the south of England and am far from being a neighbour. My experience and knowledge is that I offered some respite to some cobs that were seized from Mr price in 2012 and from then on have avidly followed the story. The cobs that found sanctuary with me, are now rehomed and have a good life, after receiving veterinary care and basic horse care, more than what they got with Mr Price. So yes I have first hand knowledge of Mr Prices horses; what is yours? I do believe Anonymous you are not in the UK is that correct? So what are you doing to help these horses? you say that the “horses where fully fed and looking healthy” but then talk of the “terrible state the remained horses are in till this very day”……which is it? are they fed and well or are they in a terrible state? But you wouldn’t know really because you are not in the UK, so I can tell you, that yes they are neglected and poor. And I for one would like to see them all rehomed, but alas that is not a viable solution, and some will inevitably be put to sleep. No it is not the horses fault, the blame lies with the owner, and no one else.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Look at the photographs, the horses were fat even if there was a bit of mud underfoot, there’s mud everywhere at this time of year, absolutely no reason to destroy those healthy animals, someone needs to be and will be brought to book over this senseless slaughter.

  13. CMGill says:

    Those “neglected” horses appear to be very well fed and at good weight. It is winter in Wales; of course there will be mud. Claiming the horses were standing in knee-deep mud would be better backed up by photos of the alleged conditions. The photo shows horses with mud splash, not horses that had to fight their way through 18 inches of slop.

  14. gypsycobbreeder says:

    Thank you Mr stegman. You know every breeder around the world is looking at this unbelieveable si tuation, but you work and tell, take pictures … thank you. And Now, someone like the prince of Wales have to work. Why can he close his eyes because of that. His highness, and now its you !!!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is one of Mr.Prices horses, see the link to the video:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23196550

    I have had first hand knowledge of the some of the neglected ponies of Mr price and that is exactly what they were. No passports contrary to the statement above, which is why in 2012 Mr.Price could not recover some horses seized by bailiffs due to illegal grazing. Yes because his horses were not legally documented.

    With regards to the two in the picture, no at first appearance they do not appear ‘poor’, but does anyone know for fact if these were euthanized? And secondly without getting up close and personal, their extent of any injuries cannot be seen. Mr Price was given time to reduce the herd numbers but failed to do so, he also failed AGAIN to make sure they were cared for whist he fulfilled his prison sentence, with reports of escaping animals and distressed animals whilst Mr Price was in prison.

    So in answer to the comment above about welfare intervention, this is exactly what has happened. Before the winter got any worse, before the condition of the animals deteriorated further, Mr Prices were animals were seized. Intervention which is in most cases for those that truly do care, is welcomed.

  16. William collard says:

    This whole awful mess has been driven along by a bunch of jealous spiteful women who operate behind a Facebook page called vannah, it is very obvious that the welfare of the horses is not their main agenda, there is a lot of money to be made from a situation like this, from donations from most probably well meaning but ill informed naive people,through to vets, and lastly to disposal and rendering, their constant vicous rude uncouth comments on their Facebook page against Tom price and his family has in my opinion led to this massacre, their page needs to be shut down immediately and the people behind it taken to court for the destruction they have caused, also any funds they have received should be retrieved and payed to mr price as compensation, charities as we all know are big business, vannah must not be allowed to exploit situations like this to line their own pockets.

    • Barry Glam says:

      U lot dont live in wales? go to any pubs in Broughton or Wick or any of the Vale Burough and speak with any farmers there who have an still suffer first hand at the hands of this family The’ll tell you the real truth
      Tyres slashed, horses killed and dumped on their land, houses set on fire with 80 year old women inside, ancient stone walls pulled down, Woodland trust memorial gardens trashed in wick and gates pulled out, cars with acid thrown over them, foals gutted like fish dumped in lanes, threats and intimidation to women and elderly people by bullying coward scumbags who kill their horses by starving them to death or infected will contagus diseases

  17. Michael Stegman says:

    as for the comment “if they have to be put to sleep, so be it” above I have only disrespect. You dont put healthy animals to sleep. And if it was a real Voice for Horses they would have taken advance for this. None of the horses were Negleted or Abused. Just look at the pictures.

  18. Anonymous says:

    400 plus horses on less than 40 acres in wick means 0.1 acre per horse.Horses need a minimum land of 1 acre per horse so they should have at over 400 acres
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-24950541
    Didn’t the owner just get 5 year ban for 5 year for neglect
    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/horse-trader-found-guilty-57-4319698
    Didn’t the owner let horses run riot in Bridgend and even Hampshire even though he lives in Pencoed many hundreds of miles away
    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/179055/Wild-gypsy-horses-on-rampage-in-Bridgend

  19. Anonymous says:

    VANNAH HORSES is’nt a rescue or charity. receives no income or any of Price’s horses so why make up lies though There is a lot of confusion on to who is to blame.You’re mistaking that vannah group for Society Welfare Horse’s Pony’s what is a rescue and charity and what takes horses in.They had an middle-aged woman working for them who would sell Price’s horse’s but SWHP rescue did not sell his horses or know she was doing it behind their backs.She’s nothing to do with vannah or Society Welfare Horse’s Pony’s but blamed them to cover her deceipt.Did’nt horse owner cause all this anyway af

  20. Hev says:

    Owner has onviction of 57 horse neglect charges and ban for 5 years and conviction of passport fraud.How can you support such horrible acts of abuse.Come to UK and see wot is real instead of sitting in Germany or America and sayin nonsinse about groups who only publish media reports about crime to animals and share news. The cause of this only the one who owned or looks after the animals in the first place

  21. Michael Stegman says:

    Well, Miss Vanah, you keep posting old news. Everybody knows what has happened in the past. You have posted all over Facebook. You dont do anything else but sitting behind your computer. Your hate to this family is well known. But you has realy shown your face here, as you claim it is ok to kill healthy horses and it is ok to seize horses abd put them in even more horrible conditions.
    You dont care for the horses, you only care for your sick hate to a family. What a poor life you have.

    And to all of the others comment here:
    I have been in Wales many times and seen all the horses and never saw that abuse and neglet you claim. I am not sitting in Germany or USA but have been there several times.

    And if you dont have the courage to come with your name you are a simple liar who dont take responsbility for your comments.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think it would be safe to reveal their true identities.. But everyone knows there a group of poor white trash looking for a payout..

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