Councillor’s concern over ‘ill and starving’ horses in East Ham

Horses in the field behind Burges Road

Horses in the field behind Burges Road - Credit: Archant

A councillor has complained about “forlorn and uncared for” horses living in a field off Burges Road, East Ham.

Cllr Heather Ciarleglio

Cllr Heather Ciarleglio - Credit: Archant

Cllr Heather Ciarleglio, who works in Herfordshire, saw the fly-grazed animals on more than one occasion while visiting her mother-in-law in the Newham borough.

She said: “There is a gap in the street that leads to a field. In this field there are upwards of 10 ponies who are covered in their own excrement – their hair is all matted and they look ill and starving.”

Cllr Ciarleglio contacted Newham Council and the RSPCA for a response but was told little could be done.

Newham council said it does not know who the horses belong to or how long they have been there. Landowners Aston Mansfield Trust were already aware of the situation.

A council spokeswoman said: “We take any complaints about animal welfare very seriously and we have already contacted the RSPCA about these horses.

“They have sent officers to check on the horses’ welfare and a vet has concluded there is no evidence of an animal welfare offence.

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“The RSPCA will continue to monitor the welfare of the horses and will investigate any further complaints. The council has been liaising with the owner of the land to ensure they are fully up to date with the situation.”

The charity told the Recorder it was aware of concerns about the horses and a representative visits them regularly.

“While the conditions are muddy and not ideal, there is dry land for the horses to stand on and they are all in a reasonable state of health.

“Their tails and manes are matted, but they have always had food or water whenever we have visited and the vet said there was no evidence of an animal welfare offence,” a spokeswoman said.

“We have offered advice to the horses’ owners and will continue to monitor the horses welfare, and ask anyone with any concerns to call us on 0300 123 8018.

The RSPCA has to act within the law and fly-grazed horses can only be removed by the police and then placed into RSPCA care when a vet has said an animal offence has been committed.”