At the beginning of December, 60 horses and ponies became trapped on some raised ground on a farm alongside the A40 near St Oswald’s. There were two large barns and some hard standing that they had access to but no way in or out for supplies except by boat.
The owners had only moved to the farm three weeks before the floods and had not been aware that this area floods badly.
It was too dangerous to attempt to rescue 60 horses, half of which were unbroken, some of which were young foals. They were likely to have reacted wildly to any attempt to round them up in a confined space and could have broken limbs in the process.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “The RSPCA has been receiving calls about these horses for the past few weeks and each time our inspectors have going out and checking on the horses and have rescued those in need with the help of the fire brigade.
“Sadly, three of the stranded foals were suffering from salmonella and had to be put to sleep on vet advice – these foals did not drown.
“Our inspectors have been giving advice to the person responsible for these horses and most of them have now been moved to safer ground, We are continuing with our involvement and working with the fire brigade and owner to help these horses.”
In just a few days last month the RSPCA responded to more than 800 calls about floods and rescued more than 100 animals.