Suffocating horse is found in nature park
A horse was found suffocating on a nature reserve, prompting calls for a community group to be set up to monitor the safety of animals kept at the site.
The distressed horse was found strangling on its chain tether under a tree at the Fens Pool Nature Reserve in Pensnett, near Dudley, by a woman on Monday night.
She called the police and RSPCA, before eventually tracking down the animal's owner for him to cut it free.
The woman, who asked not to be named in fear of reprisals, urged councillors to take action at a community forum for Brierley Hill, Brockmoor and Pensnett last night.
In response, the meeting proposed a neighbourhood watch style group to be set up at the park to check on the welfare of the horses illegally tethered at the site.
The calls follow years of concern voiced by residents in the area over the condition of horses at the site.
Councillor Zafar Islam said: "I want to first salute this woman for the actions she took to save this horse's life – it was clearly a distressing situation and she did what she could to help the animal.
"I believe we need to see if a group can be established to provide eyes over the nature reserve and swiftly report any animal suffering to the appropriate authorities.
"This is clearly a concern for many people and it has been going on for a long time –but the problem is the police, council wardens and RSPCA can't be there around the clock."
It is believed about 40 horses are tethered at the nature reserve. Many are not microchipped and do not have passports making it difficult to track their owners.
They are left tied up with only a bucket of water and some feed. Councillor Karen Jordan said the council had a dedicated phone answering service for people to report concerns. But she admitted more could be done to respond to phone calls.
The woman who spotted the horse said she often visits the nature reserve ensuring the animals have adequate feed and water.
She said: "The situation is not getting better, it's getting worse.
"Never have I seen a horse so close to dying – the whole thing upsets me so much, I just want to see these animals in a safe, looked after environment." Calls for the new group come two months after a proposals to create a task force involving councillors, park wardens and RSPCA to focus on necessary improvements to the monitoring of the welfare of horses.
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