RSPCA investigates suspected poisoning of horses with antifreeze in West Midlands

RSPCA/PA Images Credit: The RSPCA says it is investigating and is urging people to remain vigilant.

The RSPCA in the West Midlands says it is investigating after two horses were allegedly poisoned with antifreeze.

The charity says high levels of antifreeze were found in the drinking water of the two horses in Stoke-on-Trent.

The animal's owner became suspicious after the horses seemed to become reluctant to drink the water, which was described as having a ‘green tinge.’

The charity is urging anyone in the area to report any suspicious behaviour after samples taken from the trough, in the field off Redhills Road, tested positive for the chemical.

Both of the horses were checked by vets and the owner says one of them now has kidney failure and they are unsure if it will survive.

“We’re extremely concerned about this incident, it’s an extremely worrying time for the owner", said RSPCA inspector Laura Baker.

"We would urge people in the local area to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity to either us or the police."

Poisoning an animal deliberately is a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the charity says it won’t hesitate to take action against anyone who is found to be doing so.

Staffordshire Police were called to the farm near Birches Head Road in Milton at 2.15pm on 4 October, following reports of two horses being poisoned.

A spokesperson said: “We informed the RSPCA who are now actively investigating what happened. We know how devastating such callous actions can be to the animals themselves and their owners. We continue to work closely with the charity and other partners to ensure that those who deliberately cause harm to animals are brought to justice."

Signs of poisoning in horses can include any of the following:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Unsteadiness

  • Diarrhoea

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Lethargy

  • Head pressing

  • Problems swallowing

  • Twitching or fitting

If you suspect your animal has been poisoned, please seek the help of a vet immediately and, if possible, provide a sample of the suspected poison. There is also further information about poisoning in horses on the RSPCA’s website.