Update: Horse 'Neglected to death'

A STARVING horse has died after reportedly being neglected by its traveller owners. The grey-brown filly, thought to be just one year old, was alive but unconscious when she was found by a member of the public close to the Holwell caravan site, off the A

A STARVING horse has died after reportedly being neglected by its traveller owners.

The grey-brown filly, thought to be just one year old, was alive but unconscious when she was found by a member of the public close to the Holwell caravan site, off the A414 near Hatfield.

The RSPCA, a vet from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in Brookmans Park and police all attended, but the animal was in such bad condition that a decision was taken to put her to sleep.

News of the tragic event unfolded on Thursday - two days after the horse was found - when an angry Pc Jo Wakelen, from Hatfield police station, called our newsdesk.

Pc Wakelen said the animal was "badly emaciated," and described her overall condition as "appalling".

"One of her eyes was totally prolapsed," she said, "and it looks like her tail has been cut.

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"She must have been in incredible pain."

A spokesman for the RVC confirmed the horse's injuries.

"The animal was found to have suffered severe head trauma, its vital signs were extremely weak, it was malnourished and the attending vet concluded that the animal would not survive," he said.

"The decision to euthanise was taken on humanitarian grounds, and was witnessed by Hertfordshire police."

A number of horses live on the land where the filly was found, and Pc Wakelen confirmed they belonged to travellers living at Holwell.

She also appealed for anyone with information to come forward, and said: "This neglect will not be permitted and, under the Animal Welfare Act, owners can now be arrested and prosecuted."

The RSPCA also urged people to ring with information.

A spokeswoman said: "This horse was in a terrible condition and we desperately need to find out who owned her."

This is the second time a horse has died from neglect close to the Holwell caravan site.

In February 2008, a horse died after being left for weeks without food and water.

If you have any information call the police on 0845 33 00 222 or the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999.

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