Group hits out over horse rescue in Christchurch – but RSPCA say it was a “very dangerous situation”

Bournemouth Echo: HORSE TO WATER: Horses in a flooded field in Burton HORSE TO WATER: Horses in a flooded field in Burton

A ROW broke out over the rescue of horses from a flooded field in Christchurch.

The RSPCA is urging members of the public to stay away as it attempts to protect horses on land off Stony Lane.

Crowds gathered in Burton on Saturday after concerns grew for the safety of the horses in rising flood water.

Members of the public claimed RSPCA inspectors were making the situation worse and one, Joanne Gaffikin, said: “The RSPCA were not experienced enough and we were hand-feeding the horses apples and hay until they turned up and frightened them.”

But the charity hit back saying: “This is a very dangerous situation and one of the hardest type of rescues the RSPCA undertake. The horses are wild and uncooperative, there is a fast flowing river next to the field and the field is flooded.”

The spokesman said an 11-strong team of specially-trained water rescuers was on the scene and added: “We understand and share people’s passion in wanting to protect these horses and would like to assure people once again that we are doing all we can to help. We would urge the public to stay away from the site, as conditions are very dangerous and could spook the horses.”

Chris Skone-Roberts, who originally raised concerns about the horses on Facebook, said yesterday afternoon that all parties had now formed a “calm alliance” to help the 19 animals.

He urged people to now stay away from the scene.

And he called on people to stop “any negative activity” against Linda Laidlaw, the owner of some of the horses.

“Initially I misjudged this lady as did many of us but she is terrified and asking us for help,” he said.

He added: “The RSPCA are dealing with Mrs Laidlaw many times each day and we need to stay away and let them do their job.”

Ms Laidlaw said: “The horses are in very good condition. I have had so much support from people who want to help and the RSPCA have been tremendous.”

 

Comments (9)

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8:07pm Mon 6 Jan 14

darceybug says...

There were also 2 horses stranded in a field off the Avon causway Sunday afternoon the RSPCA where very helpfull after I had to listen to 20 minutes of adverts of how to donate and how to look after hedgehogs etc, I was getting very mad as it was afternoon and the light was from the field and I classed this as an emergency. But in the evening they had the decency to ring me and tell me that they had been removed. Dawn Adams
There were also 2 horses stranded in a field off the Avon causway Sunday afternoon the RSPCA where very helpfull after I had to listen to 20 minutes of adverts of how to donate and how to look after hedgehogs etc, I was getting very mad as it was afternoon and the light was from the field and I classed this as an emergency. But in the evening they had the decency to ring me and tell me that they had been removed. Dawn Adams darceybug
  • Score: 14

12:27pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

Horses can swim, can't they? Floods been happening for millions of years and they're still around. Lighten up everybody.
Horses can swim, can't they? Floods been happening for millions of years and they're still around. Lighten up everybody. Letcommonsenseprevail
  • Score: -20

1:46pm Tue 7 Jan 14

queenie1 says...

Anyone who watched the Horse Hoarder on Channel 4 and saw the way the RSPCA were trying to catch Clwyd Davies' horses would see that they haven't got a clue ! Get proper horsemen in who know what they're doing !
Anyone who watched the Horse Hoarder on Channel 4 and saw the way the RSPCA were trying to catch Clwyd Davies' horses would see that they haven't got a clue ! Get proper horsemen in who know what they're doing ! queenie1
  • Score: 10

2:09pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Imaximus says...

surely it should be the "owners" of the horses that you slag off. and as a poster has already said....they can swim.
surely it should be the "owners" of the horses that you slag off. and as a poster has already said....they can swim. Imaximus
  • Score: -5

2:09pm Tue 7 Jan 14

michs1980 says...

At the end of the day the responsibility for any animal is that of the owner to pick at a charity for helping is shameful. We should be grateful that such a charity exists to help as and when they can. They receive over 1,000,000 calls each year and have a limited number of staff (with no more ‘power’ than you or I) to deal with their workload – a workload dramatically increased by this unusual weather, which has affected many areas of the country. They work in many other areas and if you read their prosecutions report it would give you an idea of what they’re up against. Lastly, I politely ask that people take the time to check that a rumour they’ve heard is indeed true before repeating or believing it – I have read and heard some utter nonsense and blatantly malicious rumours about RSPCA. No other charity has the same remit and at the end of the day without them there would be many, many thousands of animals left in dire situations.
At the end of the day the responsibility for any animal is that of the owner to pick at a charity for helping is shameful. We should be grateful that such a charity exists to help as and when they can. They receive over 1,000,000 calls each year and have a limited number of staff (with no more ‘power’ than you or I) to deal with their workload – a workload dramatically increased by this unusual weather, which has affected many areas of the country. They work in many other areas and if you read their prosecutions report it would give you an idea of what they’re up against. Lastly, I politely ask that people take the time to check that a rumour they’ve heard is indeed true before repeating or believing it – I have read and heard some utter nonsense and blatantly malicious rumours about RSPCA. No other charity has the same remit and at the end of the day without them there would be many, many thousands of animals left in dire situations. michs1980
  • Score: 6

3:09pm Tue 7 Jan 14

simcal says...

michs1980 wrote:
At the end of the day the responsibility for any animal is that of the owner to pick at a charity for helping is shameful. We should be grateful that such a charity exists to help as and when they can. They receive over 1,000,000 calls each year and have a limited number of staff (with no more ‘power’ than you or I) to deal with their workload – a workload dramatically increased by this unusual weather, which has affected many areas of the country. They work in many other areas and if you read their prosecutions report it would give you an idea of what they’re up against. Lastly, I politely ask that people take the time to check that a rumour they’ve heard is indeed true before repeating or believing it – I have read and heard some utter nonsense and blatantly malicious rumours about RSPCA. No other charity has the same remit and at the end of the day without them there would be many, many thousands of animals left in dire situations.
The RSPCA has become politicised. I will continue to question things they do along with other people.
[quote][p][bold]michs1980[/bold] wrote: At the end of the day the responsibility for any animal is that of the owner to pick at a charity for helping is shameful. We should be grateful that such a charity exists to help as and when they can. They receive over 1,000,000 calls each year and have a limited number of staff (with no more ‘power’ than you or I) to deal with their workload – a workload dramatically increased by this unusual weather, which has affected many areas of the country. They work in many other areas and if you read their prosecutions report it would give you an idea of what they’re up against. Lastly, I politely ask that people take the time to check that a rumour they’ve heard is indeed true before repeating or believing it – I have read and heard some utter nonsense and blatantly malicious rumours about RSPCA. No other charity has the same remit and at the end of the day without them there would be many, many thousands of animals left in dire situations.[/p][/quote]The RSPCA has become politicised. I will continue to question things they do along with other people. simcal
  • Score: 9

11:35am Wed 8 Jan 14

michs1980 says...

simcal says... "The RSPCA has become politicised. I will continue to question things they do along with other people."

Really? Please do explain how as the work they do only ever involves animal welfare! This claim is nothing but laughable. If they were involved in something that didn't involve animals then, and only then, would that statement be valid!
simcal says... "The RSPCA has become politicised. I will continue to question things they do along with other people." Really? Please do explain how as the work they do only ever involves animal welfare! This claim is nothing but laughable. If they were involved in something that didn't involve animals then, and only then, would that statement be valid! michs1980
  • Score: -1

11:37am Wed 8 Jan 14

michs1980 says...

" the RSPCA where very helpfull after I had to listen to 20 minutes of adverts of how to donate and how to look after hedgehogs etc,"

Waiting 20 minutes reflects on the number of calls they receive and the demand on their work. I am glad they do use that time to inform people about the welfare of wildlife and, of course, being a charity they need to ask for support! They are not a public service.
" the RSPCA where very helpfull after I had to listen to 20 minutes of adverts of how to donate and how to look after hedgehogs etc," Waiting 20 minutes reflects on the number of calls they receive and the demand on their work. I am glad they do use that time to inform people about the welfare of wildlife and, of course, being a charity they need to ask for support! They are not a public service. michs1980
  • Score: 3

12:49pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Poochie pie says...

The RSPCA are working with other Equine organisations and the fire and rescue service, who are advising on the dangers of the situation. No one with any sense would attempt a rescue in fast flowing water at risk to human life! If as claimed the water is chest deep in places, then who is to say what is underneath that water that is hidden from view? There could be debris or fences that are not visible. At the moment they have food, drinking water and dry land, so why not wait for the waters to recede before risking lives? Surely that is common sense? I can understand people wanting to see action, but unless you deal with this on a regular basis, then you can have no real idea of what is involved in such things. Let them do their job!
The RSPCA are working with other Equine organisations and the fire and rescue service, who are advising on the dangers of the situation. No one with any sense would attempt a rescue in fast flowing water at risk to human life! If as claimed the water is chest deep in places, then who is to say what is underneath that water that is hidden from view? There could be debris or fences that are not visible. At the moment they have food, drinking water and dry land, so why not wait for the waters to recede before risking lives? Surely that is common sense? I can understand people wanting to see action, but unless you deal with this on a regular basis, then you can have no real idea of what is involved in such things. Let them do their job! Poochie pie
  • Score: 0

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