Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 15:49 UK

Horse is found strangled to death

A horse has been found strangled to death in a Hampshire field.

The body of the black and white coloured filly was found lying in a field at Windmill Hill, Alton, on Sunday evening.

It had a ligature tied around its neck and police said the horse died of strangulation when the rope caught on a nearby tree stump.

Officers have been trying to trace the horse's owner and have appealed for any witnesses to contact them.

Isolated incident

Pc Stacy Beale, Hampshire Police's equine liaison officer, said: "We believe someone may have placed the rope around the horse's neck to either steal it or cause it deliberate harm.

"The rope then caught on a tree stump, causing fatal injuries.

"The horse would have suffered for some time before she died.

"This area is very popular with families and dog walkers and we would like to hear from anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around the field over the weekend."

Police said it was an isolated incident and other horses in the field were unharmed.

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