Horses seized from South Witham field

Pony with cu on its face
Pony with cu on its face
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Four ponies have reportedly been seized from a field in South Witham because they needed medical care.

Lincolnshire Police, the RSPCA and a vet were called to the scene at Moor Lane just before 4pm on Tuesday.

Villagers have complained that the owners of a field full of ponies have been neglecting the animals – a claim denied by their owners.

John and Jean Gaskin, of Grantham, believe the villagers are stirring things up because they are Romany Travellers – something the villagers also deny.

A police spokeswoman said four horses were seized from the field. She said: “The horses were seized as they were in need of medical care. We were working alongside the RSPCA.”

Villager Iain Haggerty told the Journal he took apples and carrots to the animals on Sunday and he saw a horse with “a huge abcess on its face.”

He rejected the claim the villagers were driven by anti-traveller feeling.

Mr Haggerty said: “I was unaware he (John Gaskin) was a Romany traveller. I’m more concerned about the state of the horses.

“They are in a pitiful state.”

Jean Gaskin told the Journal that only one horse has been removed. She said: “One horse had an abcess on its face. The vet came and had a look at it. No they haven’t been taken away, just the one pony.”

However, she also said: “There was a lot of confusion on the night.”

She continued: “There’s nothing wrong with the horses. It’s just the one. Maybe one of the others has headbutted it.

“I’m going to live in the village. All these things they are saying, they will have to say to my face.”

Urging the Journal to go and see them, John Gaskin added: “There’s nothing wrong with the horses.”

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “We are aware of this situation. Unfortunately we are unable to discuss complaints about specific people and what action may or may not have been taken.

“We understand how frustrating that is for animal lovers, but releasing information could prejudice a future prosecution or could lead to us being fined.

“I would like to reassure people that we will always look into and, wherever necessary, investigate complaints about animal welfare.”