Police appeal after attempted theft of horses

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:00 18 February 2016

Police are appealing for witnesses after the attempted theft of horses

Police are appealing for witnesses after the attempted theft of horses

Archant

Officers are appealing for information and witnesses after the attempted theft of two horses from a field.

It is believed that the animals were taken from a paddock in Oaklands Lane, Smallford, St Albans, at some time between 6pm on Wednesday, February 10 and the early hours of the following morning.

A fence was damaged to gain access to the horses.

The animals (a brown and white skewbald horse and a beige coloured miniature Shetland palomino blond pony) were found wandering loose in the Coopers Green Lane area in the early hours of Thursday, February 11.

One of the animals had suffered an injury and required veterinary treatment.

PC Mark Smith, who is investigating, said: “I am appealing for anyone with information in relation to this attempted theft to get in touch with me as soon as possible by contacting me via 101 and quoting crime reference F3/16/243.

“I would also like to reassure you that crime the risk of theft and other offences at yards and horse fields is relatively low however, I would urge owners to please consider the following crime prevention advice.”

Protecting your horses can be done in several ways:

Freeze Marking - The horse is permanently marked on the saddle patch or shoulder with a unique number and registration papers are issued to the owner. Hoof

Branding - Farriers can brand your postcode onto horses’ hooves – this will require periodic renewal as the hoof grows. Microchipping - A tiny chip containing a unique number is implanted into the horse’s neck. A scanner then reads the chip and identifies the number that can be cross-referenced against a database. The chip companies can notify vets, livestock sales and abattoirs of the theft. Horse

Passports - Horse passports were established in 2003 requiring owners to obtain a passport for each equine animal - whether that is a horse, pony, mule, donkey and even a zebra. If your horse does not have a passport then you should apply now. If you have purchased a horse that already has a passport, then you should register your ownership within 30 days.

Stable yard security:

Keep hedges, gates and fences in good repair to aid security and visibility.

Refrain from leaving head collars and lead ropes in fields that thieves could use to remove horses.

Display signs warning thieves that your tack and horses are security marked.

Introduce yourselves to neighbouring properties who can keep an eye on your horses and stables when you are not there.

Keep your yard tidy so that you can instantly see if anything is missing.

Saddles and bridles should be locked to their racks.

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