Horses are being sold 'cheaper than kittens', RSPCA warns amid rise in cruelty cases

Alex Thornhill
A horse, Adie, being pulled from a lake - RSPCA

Horses are being left to die by irresponsible owners who are regularly fly-tipping the animal says the RSPCA. 

Chief inspector at the charity, Sam Garvey has said she has seen horses being sold online for as cheap as £25 and some were even being sold for free, saying it was 'buy the mare, get the foal for free'. 

She stated there were cases that horses were being sold for "less than kittens". 

Nearly 1,000 horses were rescued in England and Wales by the RSPCA last year. This was the highest number for four years and the charity are calling it a "horse crisis" as some owners are opting to fly-tip their horses rather than pay for veterinary care or to put the animal to sleep. 

Prosecution cases involving horses have also risen by 25% since 2015. 

Adie being rescued by the RSPCA Credit: RSCPA

Ms Garvey states that the charity have taken care of horses that have been "literally dumped down dirt tracks along with the rubbish". 

"[The owners had] taken their rubbish out to fly-tip and at the same time taken a sick and injured horse along with it," she explained.

"And we've gone out to calls and not been able to see the horse until we've literally rifled through the rubbish."

Adie is now back to full health Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA state the problem is that the horses are expensive to maintain especially if they needed veterinary care. They stated that owners who find their animals too expensive to take care of should seek professional advice, from either local instructors or charities.

The charity is currently looking after 850 rescued horses in their privately run stables, nursing them and helping them recover. 

One horse being treated is Adie, who was found collapsed and covered in mud on a footpath on New Year’s Eve. 

His owner had left him there after he became ill.

Ms Garvey said: “It took five people to try and get him up.

“It was very touch and go – often when a horse goes down it’s the end, so you have to put a lot of hard work and time and effort to get them back on their feet.”

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