Horses are lying dead and still tethered to their posts, with authorities struggling to cope due to ‘absurd’ shortages of funding, MPs have said.
The RSPCA and councils are being swamped with calls over the problem but suspect there could be even more cases which are not being reported through fears of reprisals from aggressive owners.
The issue has been raised in Parliament amid mounting concern that cash-strapped councils are being inundated with calls and unable to deal with tethered horses.
One animal welfare officer in the Black Country has revealed that as many as three calls can be made about wild horses in a single morning.
Seven horses have been found by the RSPCA in the past week – two around the Bentley Bridge area of Wolverhampton and the rest near Fens Pool in Brierley Hill.
Four of them have had to be immediately put down because they were in such poor health.
The Government says Parliament is currently working on a new law that will require owners of ‘fly-grazed’ horses to remove or sell them or be charged with a criminal offence.
The pledge was made after Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East said the problem is a common one across the Black Country.
Dudley Council alone spent more than £150,000 over two years to round up stray horses.
Mr McFadden said existing legislation to tackle the problem was not working and that the government needed to give more support to councils.
He said: “In many parts of the Black Country, specifically around the Bilston and Bradley areas of my constituency, it is common to see horses grazing on abandoned former industrial land.”Subscribe to our Newsletter