ANIMAL rights activists took to Ford on Saturday (August 30) protesting about the treatment of a horse which has been tethered in a small piece of grass land for weeks.
A small number of demonstrators, holding plaques, were urging motorists driving past the animal, in Yapton Road, to call the RSPCA and report the incident, which they claimed was cruel.
However, the horse’s owner – who claims to be called Mark Joans – contacted the Gazette on Thursday (August 28), saying the animal had not been abandoned and that he visited three times a day to check it and feed it.
He said the animal was on the grass verge for health reasons and that it couldn’t stay in its normal stables, based near Angmering.
A spokeswoman for animal welfare charity the RSPCA confirmed Mr Joans’ claim.
She said: “The RSPCA has been called with concerns regarding a horse near the airfield in Yapton and has visited him on a daily basis, along with several horse charities.
“He is recovering from a riding injury but each time we have found him with food and water and in good bodily condition.
“We are in contact with his owner, who lives nearby, and are satisfied that he is being regularly cared for.”
The spokeswoman said that the had been at the grass verge field for around a month and is not connected to another group of horses who were there more recently with a group of travellers.
She added: “The horse is tethered, and while the RSPCA does not believe that tethering is a suitable method of long-term management of an animal, it is not against the law. We also satisfied that he is tethered in the best way possible, and moved daily so he can access fresh grazing.”
The charity will continue to monitor the horse. However, it is urging anyone with new and specific concerns to contact it on 0300 1234 999.