From the Gazette and Herald
CONCERNS raised by members of the public have led to the seizure of 22 horses belonging to a travelling family.
RSPCA inspectors, North Yorkshire Police and Ryedale District Council, along with a veterinary surgeon, carried out the operation last week, taking the animals to a place of safety pending further investigation.
The move followed the issue of a 14-day improvement notice in early March to give the family the opportunity to make sure the horses had water, food, shelter from the sun, and were correctly and safely tethered.
PCSO Nicki Pounder, police liaison officer for the family, said: “People cannot just have horses and leave them at the side of the road. Many of the horses were without water in the hot weather. I would ask the public to help us in being vigilant at reporting incidents of suspected mistreatment or abandonment and contact myself or the RSPCA.”
She added: “This seizure means the horses and ponies will be properly cared for.”
Insp Andy Everitt said the family lived a unique lifestyle. However, the welfare of the horses and ponies should not be compromised.
“I welcome this joint operation and the seizure by the RSPCA,” he said.
“I was present throughout the day and, as the incoming Ryedale inspector, it gave me the opportunity to meet the family and see the issues for myself.
“I am firmly of the view that the family was struggling to keep these horses and ponies and will continue to work with them as we move forward.”
Sandi Clark, crime and disorder officer at Ryedale District Council, said: “The district council is always mindful of its duty to the community of Ryedale and the volume of concerns and complaints from the public have been increasing for some time.
“During the recent hot weather the concerns for the welfare of the horses and ponies was heightened and all officers concerned felt that it was time to act.”