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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 14:38 GMT
Campaign to stop illegal horse operations
Horse
The ponies showed obvious signs of distress
A campaign to prevent horses being illegally castrated has been launched after 13 suspected cases were found in south Wales.

During a recent visit by an RSPCA inspector to a smallholding near Llangan, Bridgend, the ponies were found bleeding and in distress.


Horses suffer tremendously from being castrated without anaesthetic and it is totally unnecessary

Gary Lucas, RSPCA

Some also had bruising to the face, which indicated they had been struggling while being held down during the process.

The inspectors returned to the site the next day, but the horses had been removed.

RSPCA officers were concerned that illegal castrations were being carried out, without the use of painkillers, by amateurs.

A spokesman for the animal welfare charity said farmers could castrate cattle in this way if they had the relevant anaesthetics

But it is not legal to carry out the same procedure on horses.

The operation is illegal if it is carried out by anyone other than a qualified veterinary surgeon.

Anyone found guilty could be prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering to the animal, and also for breaching the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Worry

Gary Lucas, RSPCA chief inspector for south east Wales urged the public to contact them if they knew of anyone carrying out illegal castrations.

"It is extremely worrying that owners are carrying out this operation in south Wales," he said.

"Horses suffer tremendously from being castrated without anaesthetic and it is totally unnecessary."

Anyone who has information about the illegal castration of horses is urged to contact the RSPCA in strictest confidence on 08705 555 999.


More from south east Wales
See also:

14 Oct 02 | England
22 Jul 02 | England
11 Apr 02 | Wales
05 Nov 01 | Wales
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