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Almost 80 horses are being left to starve in a field near Albacete and another 80 are suffering the same fate in Murcia, according to reports received by the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre in Rojales this week.
Easy Horse Care co-founder Sue Weeding understands concerned residents in both areas have reported the neglect cases to police, but officers are hamstrung as no rescue centre has the funding or facilities to take so many horses at once.
“It’s crazy that everybody knows these animals are starving but nobody can do anything because there’s nowhere to put them, nowhere for these animals to be rescued to,” Sue said.
“Everybody’s wringing their hands wanting somebody to do something, but no one knows what to do – even the police don’t know.
“We just feel so frustrated. If we had the money and the facilities, we would be there in a heartbeat. I would do anything to get those horses out; but we need help. We need funding and we need space. If we had that, we could and would do it immediately.”
Residents from Caudete in Albacete are concerned about a breeding yard that is apparently failing to adequately feed its horses. Photographs seen by Easy Horse Care show extremely thin broodmares with malnourished, young foals at their sides.
It is believed that about 20 horses have not been fed properly for five months and are in an extreme state of malnutrition. Some mares are no longer able to produce milk for their foals. Three foals are reportedly so thin they can barely stand up. The other 60-odd horses appear to be in a slightly better condition but are being kept in filthy stables, constantly standing in their own faeces.
Sue said she had offered to take two horses – the maximum the sanctuary could house on top of its current 99 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys – but was told the horses’ owner was refusing to surrender his animals and police had not yet enacted a formal seizure order.
It is understood another 80 horses are suffering a similar fate on a property in Fortuna, near Murcia.
“It isn’t just the odd horse tucked away here and there. This is a huge problem and it’s going on all the while. As the crisis bites in, more and more animals are suffering and quite often in large groups, where breeders stick them out on the land and just keep the mares in foal,” Sue said.
“There has to be some sort of solution to these crises. This sort of thing just cannot go on, where there’s nowhere to place these animals. We urgently need to create a proper animal welfare system here, like those that exist in the UK and other European Union countries.”
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre relies entirely on donations to fund its important animal welfare work. The centre will open free to the public on Sunday, 8th January from 1pm to 4pm. For more details and directions, please visit www.easyhorsecare.net.