THE RSPCA has assisted with a special operation in Swansea to round up cob type horses grazing on the tidal marsh.
The operation took place on Tuesday (9 September) at Penclawdd marsh during high tide – which is when the horses move onto the roads and land to escape the water.
Twelve RSPCA staff were present at the operation to deal with any welfare offences. During the operation 11 ponies were collected including two stallions.
Once rounded up, the horses were scanned for a microchip, photographed and examined by a vet.
RSPCA Superintendent Martyn Hubbard said: “Owners must take responsibility for the welfare of their animals at all times.
“During winter and times of high tides the owners must ensure that the needs of these ponies are met which includes protection from high tides.
“Just to allow them to escape the water by coming up onto the road is not satisfactory. Special provision must be made for the more vulnerable animals like heavily pregnant mares and foals.”
RSPCA Chief Inspector Romain DeKerckhove said: “RSPCA officers have been working closely with Swansea City Council in order to agree on a strategy to overcome the longstanding problems associated with horses grazing on this tidal estuary.
“The tidal range on the estuary at Penclawdd is one of the highest in the world and horses have been grazed on this area of common land for decades.
“Many horses are known to have drowned during the high spring tides. With the introduction of the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 it is now at last possible to take enforcement action.”
David Picken, Trading Standards Officer in Swansea Council, said: “The operation to collect the ponies went very well and we are now in the process of identifying the ponies and owners.
“The land the ponies graze on is common land and only people with commoners rights are entitled to use this land.
“Our next objective is to work more closely with the commoners to ensure that it is clear that the land is being used by people with commoners rights and they have a clear record of horses which they are grazing on the land in order that the welfare of those animals is maintained to the highest standards.”
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