1. ITV Report

Dead horse dumped near homes

The body of a horse has been discovered in a stream at Oakley Green near West Auckland, County Durham.

It's believed the animal may have been dumped to avoid the cost of disposal of the body.

Angela Clark and Mick Reid discovered the animal, it was yards from their house and within sight of a children's playground.

The owner/ landowner is legally responsible for the removal of dead animals on their property. If no owner can be found, the responsiblity lies with the local authority or Animal Health.

We seem to be seeing more and more dead and dying horses dumped off the back of trailers in secluded areas, their owners unwilling or unable to pay for veterinary treatment or a ‘knackerman’ to dispose of their body.

– Cathy Hyde, North of England equine officer, RSPCA
The horse was found in a stream in full view of houses Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The bodies of seven horses are reported to have been found in County Durham and removed by the council in the past fortnight.

Investigations are being carried out to see if the animals owners can be traced.

Watch Julia Barthram's full report: