Yesterday lunchtime nine horses were rescued from dangerous flood waters in Middlesex which in some places was several feet deep.
In a quick-reacting manoeuvre to ensure the horses were taken to a place of safety, World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Nick White was quick to assist the RSPCA flood team in catching, handling and loading the horses.
Nick White says:
“The river at the bottom of the field had burst its banks and the water had spread over the field these horses were being kept in – right up to the gateway.
“All of the horses were wet and cold, particularly the thoroughbred types with thinner coats. We were most concerned for two of the foals who were also very wet and cold – their coats had become waterlogged and the foals were shivering and could not get warm.
“We had to quickly assess the situation prior to catching the horses and work out the safest way to remove them and load them on to a transporter on a very busy, fast and noisy main road.”
During the course of the day Nick had received a number of calls about these particular horses including one lorry driver who had seen the situation unfolding and called it into the charity’s UK Welfare Line. The RSPCA had also been getting a high number of calls to the same location.
“With more heavy rain and cold weather forecast we were all immensely relieved to get the horses to safety. It was great working with the RSPCA flood team who were professional, safety conscious and caring towards the horses.”
World Horse Welfare is advising horse owners who are experiencing the current bad weather to move their animals to higher ground if possible and to put down sand or straw so that they have a dry place to lie down. As a last resort, owners may need to consider moving their horses into livery or ask if they can move them into a neighbour’s field.
Where people are concerned about horses owned by others the charity asks that you monitor the situation to see if the horse is in a waterlogged field temporarily, which is of less concern than deep or flowing water. If the situation persists or the horse is in distress the public can call World Horse Welfare’s UK Welfare Line on 0300 333 6000.