The White horse at Uffington has been getting its annual make-over so that it can continue to be seen for miles around. It's a difficult task though, and this year a team of staff from the National Grid volunteered to help. Kate Bunkall has been to see how they got on.
There aren't many one-month-olds who can claim to be internationally famous but a youngster from Tonbridge is exactly that.
But this infant is an American miniature horse who, when he was born, was one of the smallest in Britain at just 36cm tall. He's called "micro Dave" and we sent our own Dave along to meet him.
Reporter David Johns spoke to micro-Dave's owner Jen Baldwin-Murphy and groom Claire Murphy.
An emaciated horse found on a dark Harlow hillside is getting stronger every day and an appeal to help her has already raised an amazing £8,200, with more than 480 people donating.
The RSPCA appealed for information after Lara, a red and white mare was found on the 14 April.
Lara was discovered just 40 miles from where Gizmo, the foal who was found dying by the side of the road in February, was found. She was tied up by a chain with every bone on her body visible in Canons Brook at 8pm.
Lara is thought to be around a year old and weighed 161 kilograms, less than half the weight she should have been. She was so weak when she was found that she couldn’t stand on her front legs and had collapsed.
She was rescued by the same team as Gizmo, which as well as the RSPCA included the police and a vet, vet nurse and yard manager from Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic in Halstead, where she has received the best of care ever since.
Lara gained 6.5kgs in 21 days and continues to gain weight* but her recovery hasn’t been without difficulties. She has had problems with very sore feet after her deformed and overgrown hooves had to be trimmed. Vets at first feared she had had laminitis which could have damaged her bones. However, this week X-rays revealed that Lara’s bones are fine and she is now able to walk without padded feet.
Lara and Gizmo’s stories are sadly not uncommon. The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses. The RSPCA alone has more than 600 horses in its care and receives more than 400 complaints relating to horse welfare every week.
Like Gizmo, a Facebook appeal concerning Lara has already received an overwhelming response with many people asking how they can help. Those wanting to donate towards Lara’s care should visit https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/rspcahq/savelara
Any surplus funds will be used for the rescue and treatment of other equines in a similar situation.
Anyone with any information about how Gizmo and Lara came to be dumped so callously like this should call 0300 123 8018.
A food import company has been prosecuted after a pork sausage product on sale at a Kent shop was found to contain 46% horse meat.
The case at Dartford Magistrates Court today was the result of a test purchase at the shop in Market Street by KCC Trading Standards in October last year. Tests were carried out at Kent Scientific Services and produced the results.
The subsequent investigation found that the product, a Lukanka Chumerna sausage, had been imported by Expo Foods Limited, based in London. The vacuum-packed food was manufactured in Bulgaria and was labelled as containing pork sausagemeat.
Despite the large media coverage concerning the presence of undeclared horse meat in various food products in January 2013, the company undertook no tests on the sampled product which was imported in September 2013.
The company pleaded guilty today at Dartford Magistrates Court to a charge under the Food Safety Act, that the product was not of the substance demanded. It was fined £5,000 and an award of £2,500 made towards council costs plus a £120 surcharge.
A horse had to be put down after it became entangled in an electric fence to such an extent that its owners believe it was targeted in a deliberate act.
The horse, called George, was discovered in a field in Blackgate Lane, Pulborough, on Tuesday, September 9. It was lying on the ground with the electric fence line wrapped tightly several times around its left fore and hind legs. It was released, but the incident had caused irreparable injuries to both legs and George, sadly, had to be put to sleep a few days later.
"At first we thought it was just an unfortunate accident where George had got himself tangled up in the fence. However, the number of times that the fence line was wrapped around each foot aroused our suspicions and we called the police. Unfortunately, the line was so tight that it cut off circulation to both feet and the vet was unable to save them or ultimately, George."
"There's no apparent reason why this horse or these stables should have been targeted in this isolated incident, but we would like to hear from anyone who has any information about the incident or who has experienced anything similar. Blackgate Lane is fairly remote, but were you around the area at any time from late afternoon or overnight on Monday, September 8 and if so die you see anything suspicious? If so, please email email@example.com or call 101 quoting serial 1096 of 18/09."
Kent Fire & Rescue Service has been called into action after a horse was spotted struggling in deep water in Kent. The grey cob mare was seen near Whitstable and rescued with help from the RSPCA.
Horse riders in Hampshire are being urged to stick to bridle paths after a horse got stuck in a bog and had to be rescued by firefighters.
Earlier this week a horse got stuck in boggy ground near Ibsley after the horse and its rider left a nearby bridle path.
The 12 year old 16 hand dressage horse lost its footing on the uneven terrain and sunk its legs into the bog.
Animal Rescue Specialist Jim Green, Officer in Charge of the incident said: ""Riders may feel that due to the recent good weather that going across forests and fields will be safe.
"However, given the rainfall experienced earlier this year, many areas are still heavily waterlogged and may be hazardous to horses and their owners."
A £12k car and specialist horse equipment has been stolen from a farm in East Hampshire.
Hampshire Police are looking into the burglary which took place between 9pm and 6.45am on Tuesday 1st April at Hewshott Farm.
The burglar is thought to have climbed through a window of the stables, between Liphook and Haslemere, where they removed keys to open storage containers full of equipment.
A John Deere HPX Gator 4x4 car worth £12,000 and a vast amount of horse tack was taken.
More than 28 leather saddles, from £300 to £3,000 were also taken, as the burglars used the stolen vehicle to transport the equipment across the fields towards the A3.
If anyone saw or heard anything at the farm or saw any vehicles on the A3 transporting the 4x4 vehicle and the tack please get in touch. The farm is in a rural location and the offender(s) have selected only the higher valued saddles and other items. This is detrimental to the riding school business as well as all the other riders at the stables who have had property stolen."
More body parts of a horse have been discovered near to a railway line in Hampshire.
RSPCA inspector Penny Baker had been investigating the original discovery of a dismembered horse found in Burseldon near Southampton on Tuesday 4th March.
A head, torso and leg were originally found.
But more body parts, including a hoof, leg and pelvic bone, of what is thought to be from the same horse, were found near Satchell Lane in Hamble.
Inspector Baker believes the latest remains may have been dumped after media reports of the original discovery.
She said, "It looks like someone has just driven up and thrown them over the fence. The smell was quite strong and I'm sure someone would have come across them if they had been there for more than a week."
The RSPCA are appealing for information after a skewbald foal was dumped in a rubbish bag and left to die.
The young horse was found by a dog walker who spotted the foal’s nose poking out of a yellow, heavy duty Hippo bag in an alleyway behind homes on Kingsground Avenue, Belvedere on Wednesday.
The horse had collapsed and was emaciated with shallow breathing.
It looks like someone has reversed a truck down the start of the alleyway next to the Leverbottle Pub and just chucked the bag off the back of their truck and driven away knowing the horse would lay there suffering until an eventual death. How someone can dump a live horse in a dark alley knowing that they would be leaving it there to suffer and die is beyond me. It was an upsetting scene. I have never seen anything like it. Thank goodness for the kind members of the public that rang us and stayed to assist while we waited for the vet and horsebox.”