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Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Dead ponies found on Bodmin Moor

Five carcasses have been found on Bodmin along with other emaciated ponies

Defra is investigating the deaths of five ponies on Bodmin Moor.

It believed the ponies came from Roborough Down or other areas of Dartmoor and are not owned by any of the Bodmin Moor commoners.

But a horse welfare charity is concerned the ponies might have died from an equine disease.

So, what exactly is causing the deaths of so many ponies on Bodmin moor?

Faye Stacey from South West Equine Protection says they started investigating after people reported pony carcasses on Bodmin moor.

One of the ponies found on Bodmin Moor
One of the ponies found on Bodmin Moor

Faye says: "This is really frustrating and we've altogether had five dead ponies up here.

"Everytime I come I'm having to identify others.

"We've also got three ponies out here that are in an emaciated condition and if nothing is done to help these ponies, they are going to end up in a similar way to the others.

"It's terrible, when we think of animal welfare we don't think about having to identify an animal from its bones, it's hoped that we find ponies in trouble before this stage and do something about it."

John Pascoe from Cornwall's trading standards animal health says it's hard to find the irresponsible owners because the ponies are difficult to identify.

"We don't know at this stage whether the ponies belong to people who have rights on the moor, whether they've been brought in or whether they've been dumped."

But the horse welfare charity thinks they're not acting quickly enough.

Trading standards says there was a spate of pony deaths about 7 or 8 years ago, and the owners of those ponies were never found.

They are hoping this isn't an equine disease, but can't rule it out.

People are being urged to report any concerns about ponies on Bodmin Moor to the authorities.

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