Taxpayers footing the bill for clean-up of abandoned dead horses

Darlington and Stockton Times: Durham County Council Durham County Council

TAXPAYERS are being forced to foot the bill for removing abandoned dead horses found on public land.

Durham County Council issued the warning after two dead horses were found near Witton-le-Wear and Shildon this week – bringing the total to nine since the start of the month.

Officers are urging owners to think about the need for responsible horse ownership and welfare as it costs £120 each time a dead horse is discovered.

They said the number of horses grazing illegally on council owned land, private land and loose horses roaming freely, has risen in recent years.

This week a black and white animal was found on the track leading to Low Garth Farm, near Witton-le-Wear and a brown and white animal was dumped near the top of Brussleton Bank, Brussleton, near Shildon.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 an animal must have a suitable environment to live in, have a healthy diet, able to behave normally, have appropriate company and protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

In 2004, regulations were introduced which meant all horse owners were required to obtain a passport for each horse they own. This was revised in 2009 to introduce compulsory micro-chipping and passporting for foals and any previously unidentified horses.

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager at Durham County Council, said: “Stray or loose horses can cause danger to members of the public and illegal horse grazing has become more problematic in recent years.

“Not only does this affect public safety, but horse welfare is also of concern.

“We have the power to seize horses that are grazing on council land; however, we urge all horse owners to be responsible in caring for their horse and provide appropriate, legal grazing land, suitable to its needs.

“Apart from the upset it causes to members of the public finding these animals and of course the staff that have to attend to remove them, there is a significant cost involved in retrieving these horses and ponies.

“On average it costs the council around £120 per animal, depending on where the pony is and access. It’s not fair for council tax payers to have to fund this."

  • If you have cause for concern regarding a stray or tethered horse, report it in confidence by calling 03000-261-000 or emailing horses@durham.gov.uk.
  • Horses loose on roads should also be reported to the police.

Comments (11)

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7:43am Wed 19 Feb 14

bishop1 says...

so we have to pay out of our council tax to remove these animals that used to belong to people that don't pay council tax , why does this not surprise me ?
so we have to pay out of our council tax to remove these animals that used to belong to people that don't pay council tax , why does this not surprise me ? bishop1

8:09am Wed 19 Feb 14

black&whitehorse says...

bloomon farmers getting away with it again
bloomon farmers getting away with it again black&whitehorse

8:46am Wed 19 Feb 14

cupid stunt says...

black&whitehorse wrote:
bloomon farmers getting away with it again
too busy making clothes pegs.
[quote][p][bold]black&whitehorse[/bold] wrote: bloomon farmers getting away with it again[/p][/quote]too busy making clothes pegs. cupid stunt

9:18am Wed 19 Feb 14

thehogman says...

black&whitehorse wrote:
bloomon farmers getting away with it again
Bloomon farmers??????????!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!
[quote][p][bold]black&whitehorse[/bold] wrote: bloomon farmers getting away with it again[/p][/quote]Bloomon farmers??????????!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !! thehogman

10:59am Wed 19 Feb 14

Ally F says...

There have been several horses killed on the A68 and other roads and around Witton Le Wear in the past 18 months. Horses had been abandoned, insecurely, in a pasture near to Low Garth Farm. The pasture is not owned by the Low Garth Farm but by an absentee land-owner, rented to a local family ‘well known to the police’. The paddock fencing was almost non-existent. Left with no feed, and a grazed out pasture, the horses simply strayed in search of food. Vehicle owners were left with expensive repair bills sometimes written off cars and were very lucky not to be seriously injured. Unfortunately the horses were either killed outright of had to be euthanized due to injuries sustained. For a spate of several months last summer, the police were called out almost every night to reports of horses loose on the road, all at the tax-payer’s expense.

Everyone knew who the horses belonged to, but could not prove it. The family simply claimed they were not theirs. Unsurprisingly, none of the horses were micro-chipped or registered with passports as required by law. Such has been the over-breeding of unregistered horses, especially the gypsy cob breed, that they have no commercial value, so they are simply abandoned and dumped, either alive or dead, for others to deal with.

Eventually the remaining horses were impounded, at the tax payer’s expense, and their fate is unknown. Likely they were put to sleep as they were all in poor health.

The police are very reluctant to take action against certain communities as the race and discrimination card will be played, but people’s suspicions about who is abandoning un-registered horses illegally rather than pay for the knacker man to remove them are not without foundation. There is only one section of the community who continues to breed non-registered non-chipped horses.

It is time that horse meat from chipped animals with passports was accepted into the UK food chain. Most horse owners and lovers, not least Princess Anne, have stated that. The animal would have a residual value at the end of its life and many would be much better cared for as assets rather than liabilities. It wold also encourage certain communities to behave legally and responsibly as it would give the animal a market value. You don’t see any cattle and sheep malnourished, abandoned, left without water, etc. and then dumped illegally.

Sadly, until that happens, the tax payer will be picking up the tab, as usual, for the actions of an irresponsible and uncaring section of our community.
There have been several horses killed on the A68 and other roads and around Witton Le Wear in the past 18 months. Horses had been abandoned, insecurely, in a pasture near to Low Garth Farm. The pasture is not owned by the Low Garth Farm but by an absentee land-owner, rented to a local family ‘well known to the police’. The paddock fencing was almost non-existent. Left with no feed, and a grazed out pasture, the horses simply strayed in search of food. Vehicle owners were left with expensive repair bills sometimes written off cars and were very lucky not to be seriously injured. Unfortunately the horses were either killed outright of had to be euthanized due to injuries sustained. For a spate of several months last summer, the police were called out almost every night to reports of horses loose on the road, all at the tax-payer’s expense. Everyone knew who the horses belonged to, but could not prove it. The family simply claimed they were not theirs. Unsurprisingly, none of the horses were micro-chipped or registered with passports as required by law. Such has been the over-breeding of unregistered horses, especially the gypsy cob breed, that they have no commercial value, so they are simply abandoned and dumped, either alive or dead, for others to deal with. Eventually the remaining horses were impounded, at the tax payer’s expense, and their fate is unknown. Likely they were put to sleep as they were all in poor health. The police are very reluctant to take action against certain communities as the race and discrimination card will be played, but people’s suspicions about who is abandoning un-registered horses illegally rather than pay for the knacker man to remove them are not without foundation. There is only one section of the community who continues to breed non-registered non-chipped horses. It is time that horse meat from chipped animals with passports was accepted into the UK food chain. Most horse owners and lovers, not least Princess Anne, have stated that. The animal would have a residual value at the end of its life and many would be much better cared for as assets rather than liabilities. It wold also encourage certain communities to behave legally and responsibly as it would give the animal a market value. You don’t see any cattle and sheep malnourished, abandoned, left without water, etc. and then dumped illegally. Sadly, until that happens, the tax payer will be picking up the tab, as usual, for the actions of an irresponsible and uncaring section of our community. Ally F

12:02pm Wed 19 Feb 14

rat man says...

"if you have cause for concern regarding a stray or tethered horse, report it in confidence by calling 03000-261-000 or emailing horses@durham.gov.uk
."

Well, I'll try ringing that number next time I see tethered horses grazing on the roadside verges on the Toronto bypass, or anywhere else for that matter. I'll ring the Northern Echo if Durham County Council do not take prompt action to have them removed!
"if you have cause for concern regarding a stray or tethered horse, report it in confidence by calling 03000-261-000 or emailing horses@durham.gov.uk ." Well, I'll try ringing that number next time I see tethered horses grazing on the roadside verges on the Toronto bypass, or anywhere else for that matter. I'll ring the Northern Echo if Durham County Council do not take prompt action to have them removed! rat man

12:52pm Wed 19 Feb 14

loan_star says...

Just start charging more to use the official gyspy sites.
Just start charging more to use the official gyspy sites. loan_star

1:57pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Durhamite1979 says...

What the hell is going on over there? Is the lack of care / ownership / law that endemic that stock can just be left to die? If the finger is being pointed at unchipped / registered animals, why doesn't the RSPCA / AHVLA / Council get their collective fingers out and do a sweep of the area and remove anything unregistered without further argument? They do it with dogs and they'll come and rehome a mangy fox for you, but if its a stripy horse belonging to a thieving **** b@stard, they'll run the other way...
What the hell is going on over there? Is the lack of care / ownership / law that endemic that stock can just be left to die? If the finger is being pointed at unchipped / registered animals, why doesn't the RSPCA / AHVLA / Council get their collective fingers out and do a sweep of the area and remove anything unregistered without further argument? They do it with dogs and they'll come and rehome a mangy fox for you, but if its a stripy horse belonging to a thieving **** b@stard, they'll run the other way... Durhamite1979

4:48pm Wed 19 Feb 14

black&whitehorse says...

unchipped and bred for the burger trade now unsellable but thats how things go some you win and some you dont
unchipped and bred for the burger trade now unsellable but thats how things go some you win and some you dont black&whitehorse

5:20pm Wed 19 Feb 14

sleeping dragon says...

rat man wrote:
"if you have cause for concern regarding a stray or tethered horse, report it in confidence by calling 03000-261-000 or emailing horses@durham.gov.uk

."

Well, I'll try ringing that number next time I see tethered horses grazing on the roadside verges on the Toronto bypass, or anywhere else for that matter. I'll ring the Northern Echo if Durham County Council do not take prompt action to have them removed!
me thinks it will be a call to the echo
[quote][p][bold]rat man[/bold] wrote: "if you have cause for concern regarding a stray or tethered horse, report it in confidence by calling 03000-261-000 or emailing horses@durham.gov.uk ." Well, I'll try ringing that number next time I see tethered horses grazing on the roadside verges on the Toronto bypass, or anywhere else for that matter. I'll ring the Northern Echo if Durham County Council do not take prompt action to have them removed![/p][/quote]me thinks it will be a call to the echo sleeping dragon

6:01pm Wed 19 Feb 14

kristal27 says...

Ally F -well said! you have hit the nail on the head. As a horse owner I would much prefer to see these poor creatures fattened up and sold for meat than take the fate they usually get - turned out on places like Cockfield Fell with no hay in winter, or kept in Allotments, chained up on the sides of roads or dumped. We had horses dumped near us in a field and the poor land owner couldn't do a thing - the Police were forever there as they were escaping onto the road -they only did something after one of the horses took a bloody great chunk out of an Officers arm -next day they were 'confiscated'. the people who breed these poor creatures are living in the past, flogging poor animals around the roads in carts causing traffic jams and accidents (today in Toft Hill) . They give responsible horse owners a bad name -Like I said in another thread Make IT AGAINST THE LAW TO HAVE HORSES TETHERED ON SIDES OF THE ROAD OR KEPT IN COUNCIL ALLOTMENTS.
Ally F -well said! you have hit the nail on the head. As a horse owner I would much prefer to see these poor creatures fattened up and sold for meat than take the fate they usually get - turned out on places like Cockfield Fell with no hay in winter, or kept in Allotments, chained up on the sides of roads or dumped. We had horses dumped near us in a field and the poor land owner couldn't do a thing - the Police were forever there as they were escaping onto the road -they only did something after one of the horses took a bloody great chunk out of an Officers arm -next day they were 'confiscated'. the people who breed these poor creatures are living in the past, flogging poor animals around the roads in carts causing traffic jams and accidents (today in Toft Hill) . They give responsible horse owners a bad name -Like I said in another thread Make IT AGAINST THE LAW TO HAVE HORSES TETHERED ON SIDES OF THE ROAD OR KEPT IN COUNCIL ALLOTMENTS. kristal27

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