The owner of a field of horses has accused South Witham villagers of making false claims against him because he is a ‘Romany Traveller’.
John Gaskin denies abandoning or neglecting the horses, saying he has been feeding them barley and sugar beet. He also questioned stories – as reported in last week’s Journal and on the South Witham facebook page – that villagers have been feeding the horses everyday.
He said: “Would the RSPCA let the horses starve? Every one is as fat as butter. The only thing wrong with them is the muddy field due to the weather.”
The 69-year-old said he has had horses since he was born. He rents 15 acres and has kept them in the same field for three years.
“I never pulled up and dumped them,” he explained. “They just don’t like what I am – a Romany Traveller.”
Mr Gaskin currently lives in a caravan to the south end of Grantham and has always lived in the area but would this year like to move to a bungalow in South Witham.
He said he had seen the RSPCA, who he says told him there was “nothing wrong” with the horses. He has paid for a vet to treat them too.
“There are no foals either, they are yearlings, small cobs, bred very small. They (the villagers) don’t know what they are on about,” he said.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “We are aware of these horses at South Witham. The horses are owned and have not been abandoned. We have visited the horses a number of times and, along with World Horse Welfare, are working with the horses’ owners to ensure their welfare.”