Stray horses cost Black Country councils £140k a year
Dozens of horses are being seized in Dudley and Sandwell by a horse rescue firm paid £140,000 a year.
Equine Emergency Services, in Bridgnorth, seized 45 horses in Dudley and 30 in Sandwell last year.
It is contracted by the councils in a bid to clear roads and open spaces of tethered and stray horses.
The firm then charges £400 for the owners to reclaim the animals. It also rehomes the horses.
The firm’s website features appeals for the owners of 38 horses seized across the two boroughs over the past year to come forward.
They include eight caught in one day off the Birmingham New Road in Dudley and five from Hall Lane in Tipton.
Five were also picked up from the Fens Pool Nature Reserve in Brierley Hill.
The horses range in age and types with black cobs, piebalds and skewbalds.
The work of the company was raised by the office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner this week.
The firm’s work has seen the number of stray horses reduced. In Dudley, 145 horses were seized in a year.
Brierley Hill councillor John Martin said five years ago up to 70 horses were tethered on the 30-acre Fens Pool Nature Reserve at a time.
He said: “Dudley Council was compelled to act because of the destruction of the nature reserve and cruelty to the animals, some of them left to starve on our reserves.”