Officer was not implying that dumping was legal
SIR – Regarding the Welwyn Hatfield & Times article Horror as horse lays dead for five days which appeared in the paper on April 1, [and the letter above]. We would like to make it clear that PC Jo Wakelen has unfortunately been misquoted.
SIR - Regarding the Welwyn Hatfield & Times' article 'Horror as horse lays dead for five days' which appeared in the paper on April 1, [and the letter above].
We would like to make it clear that PC Jo Wakelen has unfortunately been misquoted. [She was not misquoted - editor.]
The article states that PC Wakelen had implied that, 'no foul play had been involved regarding the horse's death and subsequent dumping'.
What the article didn't make clear was that PC Wakelen was actually stating that nothing criminal had taken place in terms of the horse dying, but that it was an offence to fly-tip as the horse had clearly been dumped after it had passed away.
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Both the police and the RSPCA visited the scene on the day that it was reported and determined that the horse died from natural causes.
Unfortunately, as the horse was already dead, the responsibility to remove it did not belong to the RSPCA. The police could not take action as there were no witnesses who saw anyone dumping the horse.
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However, PC Wakelen did appeal for anyone with information to come forward.
PC Wakelen was not implying members of the public should be given consent to dump animals on public byways. Any such behaviour is considered as fly tipping and will be dealt with seriously following investigation. She was simply commenting on possible reasons for why the horse was dumped in today's financial climate, considering the costs of removal by an abattoir.
Last week, Welwyn Hatfield Council provided a clear outline to the Welwyn & Hatfield Times of whose responsibility it is to deal with mistreated and dead animals. Unfortunately, this was only included in the online version of the paper's most recent article, 'Why was action not taken sooner'. [It appears on page 14 this week for those who do not have web access - editor]
The dead horse that was blocking the bridleway off Wildhill Road, near Hatfield, was cleared by the borough council's street scene partner, Serco.
You will note from this location that this particular horse was three miles from the Holwell Traveller Site and there is no suggestion there is any connection with this site.
Paul Hart, neighbourhood inspector, Welwyn Hatfield CDRP.