There has been outrage after a dead and emaciated foal was found tethered to a fence in an East Sussex field.
The horrific discovery was made this week near Otter Channel, between Flackley Ash and Wittersham.
The black foal, thought by the RSPCA to be around one year old, was found by local man Tim Burr who said: “The foal was wearing a horse blanket and someone must know who it belongs to.
“It had been tied up with rope then left. This is beyond barbaric.”
He added: “That field has never had horses in it so I think someone has driven up and dumped it there. It is shocking.”
John Streatfeild, who has experience of abandoned horses, said: “It is not uncommon. This foal was wearing a blanket and could have been left by someone who could no longer care for it and was hoping it would be found.
RSPCA inspector Alison Edwards said: “He was in an emaciated state, and there was a rope attached to his neck and nearby gate. It is thought this was probably used to drag the body from a vehicle.
“We are always really sad to hear of animals callously discarded in this way and hope the horse did not suffer before he or she died.
“Unfortunately, it seems very much as if he did, and that this was a classic neglect case, due to his emaciated state.
“Anyone with any information about how he died, or evidence that an animal welfare offence may have been committed, should contact us on 0300 123 8018.
“Sadly, cases like this are not uncommon. The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses.”
John Streatfeild added: “There were four foals that were in danger of drowning in Ashford, having been abandoned in a field that became flooded, and the Blue Cross refused to take them in, even for one night.
“They were taken by the DENS charity at Flimwell.”