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7 March 2014, 13:09 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
The RSPCA is investigating after the carcass of a dead horse was found stuffed into bags and dumped next to train tracks near Southampton.
The head, torso and legs of the dismembered horse were discovered by maintenance workers close to Salterns Lane, Bursledon, near Southampton, on Tuesday morning.
The body parts had been put in empty pet food bags and dumped. Parts of the horse’s torso had been stripped of flesh.
RSPCA inspector Penny Baker said there was no way of identifying the horse or determining the exact cause of death, or whether the animal had suffered, because of the state of the carcass.
But she said the incident was another apparent example of the growing trend for people to dump their horses when they become too much of a burden.
She said: “The general public don’t know the full extent of the neglect and dumping of horses that we are currently experiencing and ultimately dealing with.
“We deal with a lot of reports of abandoned, neglected and emaciated horses, but this is horrific.
“I thought I had seen some horrible sights in my time as an inspector, but this is by far the worst. It is an all time low.
“The cost of disposing of a dead horse is not cheap, and it seems some people are just dumping their animals rather than paying anything.”
Inspector Baker said from the remains of the horse it appears to have been a young, bay horse. The feathering on the legs indicates it may have been a cob type breed.
She said the RSPCA receives a large number of complaints about the welfare of horses in the area. Inspector Baker attended Hamble Airfield on Thursday (6.3.14) where she was able to assess 20 tethered horses and talk to some horse owners.