Residents' concern for horses abandoned on land at Warner Bros Leavesden film studios

Abandoned horses could be 'destroyed'

Abandoned horses could be 'destroyed'

Abandoned horses could be 'destroyed'

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Residents are growing concerned for a group of horses left on land owned by Warner Bros after the Leavesden film studios has issued an abandonment notice, which could see them "destroyed".

The five horses can be seen on the private land owned by Warner Bros Studios, Ashfield, just near the A405 and since the flurry of snow concerned residents have taken to visiting and feeding them every day.

It is thought the group of horses, including a foal, have been on the private land since the beginning of January. Emma Hickey-Smith has grown increasingly concerned for the horses and has been visiting them everyday to feed them hay and apples, and make sure they have fresh water.

The 27-year-old said: "I first noticed them when it was snowing really heavily and they were clearly distressed, without food and water.

"Some have sores on their feet, ankles and eyes and even frozen fur around their mouths were they have been eating the snow. There is a young horse still suckling too.

"I couldn’t bear to see them suffering, so got in contact with my friend Lucy and we have decided to go down there every day to make sure they are fed and have fresh water. We will continue to go until a home is found for them.

"I went to bed last night and thought about the horses out there in the cold and snow, when I was tucked up in my warm bed."

The abandonment notice asks for details regarding the legal owner of the horses and details 14 days for them to be removed under Section 7 of the Animals Act 1971, or Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 or they will be "re-homed, sold or humanely destroyed".

The time period for the legal owner to come forward is between January 16 and January 30.

Lucy Sewitt, who lives in Bushey, also decided to help her friend Emma and has been making daily visits to the pet shop and horses.

The pair also decided to set up a Facebook page, called Help the Leavesden horses to gain support and awareness.

Mrs Sewitt, 27, said: "We are not pointing the blame at anyone. We just want someone to come forward for the horses because it would be such a shame if they were destroyed.

"Everyone on our page is really concerned. People from across the world have offered to pay for food and coats for the horses and sanctuaries have even offered to take the horses on.

"The RSPCA have reassured us that the owners have been feeding the horses but when we go along to feed them there seems to be no hay and only the hay that we have fed them."

The RSPCA have visited the site on three occasions and have said the horses are "in good body condition".

Klare Kennett, spokesman for the RSPCA, said: "The owner has provided the animals with hay.

"Advice was given to the owner to ensure they continue to meet the animals' needs. The local inspector has urged the horses' owner to move them as soon as possible.

"The RSPCA now has no specific causes for concern about these animals but will continue to monitor the situation and respond to any further complaints, as appropriate."

Comments (15)

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1:41pm Thu 24 Jan 13

G_Whiz says...

Waiting for a Tesco Joke!

Meanwhile, can't they just be returned to the owners down by the A41?
Waiting for a Tesco Joke! Meanwhile, can't they just be returned to the owners down by the A41? G_Whiz
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Thu 24 Jan 13

The Rover says...

I am sure Warner Brothers could provide food and water for the horses as well. Not their responsibility, but surely the humane and right thing to do under the circumstances. You never know, the horses might even become film stars!
I am sure Warner Brothers could provide food and water for the horses as well. Not their responsibility, but surely the humane and right thing to do under the circumstances. You never know, the horses might even become film stars! The Rover
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Thu 24 Jan 13

crazyfrog says...

you can bet your bottom dollar the "owners" will move them just before the 30th january then probably to somebdy else's field, the RSPCA should really look at trying to prosecute the owners for neglect if they are not being treated properly and get an order that prohibites the owners from owning animals
you can bet your bottom dollar the "owners" will move them just before the 30th january then probably to somebdy else's field, the RSPCA should really look at trying to prosecute the owners for neglect if they are not being treated properly and get an order that prohibites the owners from owning animals crazyfrog
  • Score: 0

6:06pm Thu 24 Jan 13

highhigh says...

I hope we are not stereotyping on the owners to these poor horses ;) i do feel for the poor ponies!
I hope we are not stereotyping on the owners to these poor horses ;) i do feel for the poor ponies! highhigh
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Could it possibly be that the RSPCA knows perfectly well that the supposed owners of these horses are gypsies but, like so many other people in authority, they are running scared of upsetting them because under our barmy, politically correct laws they now enjoy privileged and protected status just like other so-called "oppressed" minorities?

If the RSPCA know who the owner of these animals is, then why don't they say so and come clean about it? If indeed the owner, or owners, is leaving these horses on land that doesn't belong to him, then he is committing an offence. The RSPCA now seem to be far more concerned with politics than animal welfare, which is probably why their reputation, and contributions, is plummeting all the time.
Could it possibly be that the RSPCA knows perfectly well that the supposed owners of these horses are gypsies but, like so many other people in authority, they are running scared of upsetting them because under our barmy, politically correct laws they now enjoy privileged and protected status just like other so-called "oppressed" minorities? If the RSPCA know who the owner of these animals is, then why don't they say so and come clean about it? If indeed the owner, or owners, is leaving these horses on land that doesn't belong to him, then he is committing an offence. The RSPCA now seem to be far more concerned with politics than animal welfare, which is probably why their reputation, and contributions, is plummeting all the time. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Thu 24 Jan 13

Hornets number 12 fan says...

Roy Stockdill wrote:
Could it possibly be that the RSPCA knows perfectly well that the supposed owners of these horses are gypsies but, like so many other people in authority, they are running scared of upsetting them because under our barmy, politically correct laws they now enjoy privileged and protected status just like other so-called "oppressed" minorities?

If the RSPCA know who the owner of these animals is, then why don't they say so and come clean about it? If indeed the owner, or owners, is leaving these horses on land that doesn't belong to him, then he is committing an offence. The RSPCA now seem to be far more concerned with politics than animal welfare, which is probably why their reputation, and contributions, is plummeting all the time.
Well said Roy it's about time the authorities grew a pair! Sick of the **** footing that's done around certain sections of our society where this sort of thing is concerned.
[quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: Could it possibly be that the RSPCA knows perfectly well that the supposed owners of these horses are gypsies but, like so many other people in authority, they are running scared of upsetting them because under our barmy, politically correct laws they now enjoy privileged and protected status just like other so-called "oppressed" minorities? If the RSPCA know who the owner of these animals is, then why don't they say so and come clean about it? If indeed the owner, or owners, is leaving these horses on land that doesn't belong to him, then he is committing an offence. The RSPCA now seem to be far more concerned with politics than animal welfare, which is probably why their reputation, and contributions, is plummeting all the time.[/p][/quote]Well said Roy it's about time the authorities grew a pair! Sick of the **** footing that's done around certain sections of our society where this sort of thing is concerned. Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 0

12:31am Fri 25 Jan 13

drunkenduck says...

G_Whiz wrote:
Waiting for a Tesco Joke!

Meanwhile, can't they just be returned to the owners down by the A41?
Tesco are giving away free club card points on burgers and petrol, starting next week.

The deal is called "Only Fuel and Horses"


As anyone including WO contacted Warner Bros and see what their plans if any, what they may do with them?
[quote][p][bold]G_Whiz[/bold] wrote: Waiting for a Tesco Joke! Meanwhile, can't they just be returned to the owners down by the A41?[/p][/quote]Tesco are giving away free club card points on burgers and petrol, starting next week. The deal is called "Only Fuel and Horses" As anyone including WO contacted Warner Bros and see what their plans if any, what they may do with them? drunkenduck
  • Score: 0

10:07am Fri 25 Jan 13

Linda Geddes says...

This story doesn't make any sense. If the RSPCA know who the owners are then how can they be classified as abandoned? Who put the abandonment notice up? Why should these horses suffer because no-one wants to upset the "owners"? They should just be removed immediately and taken to a sanctuary where they can be rehomed.
This story doesn't make any sense. If the RSPCA know who the owners are then how can they be classified as abandoned? Who put the abandonment notice up? Why should these horses suffer because no-one wants to upset the "owners"? They should just be removed immediately and taken to a sanctuary where they can be rehomed. Linda Geddes
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

I agree with your last statement, Linda, but if these are travellers' horses (and it seems very likely under the circumstances that they are) the owner might then start kicking up a fuss about them being stolen from him.

We all know how "cute" and unscrupulous in their dealings with ordinary people travellers can be. The law holds little fear from them when they can seemingly flout it with such ease.
I agree with your last statement, Linda, but if these are travellers' horses (and it seems very likely under the circumstances that they are) the owner might then start kicking up a fuss about them being stolen from him. We all know how "cute" and unscrupulous in their dealings with ordinary people travellers can be. The law holds little fear from them when they can seemingly flout it with such ease. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Fri 25 Jan 13

abbotshornet says...

I have seen these poor beasts from the road, out there in all weathers without a blanket or shelter, I did email the RSPCA but it sounds as though they were already aware of the problem.
As with all things they no longer have a use for I can imagine who put them there behind the high fence's.
It sounds like the locals are doing what they can so far as keeping them fed.
I hope that if those who left them there don't do anything a good home can be found for them and soon.
I have seen these poor beasts from the road, out there in all weathers without a blanket or shelter, I did email the RSPCA but it sounds as though they were already aware of the problem. As with all things they no longer have a use for I can imagine who put them there behind the high fence's. It sounds like the locals are doing what they can so far as keeping them fed. I hope that if those who left them there don't do anything a good home can be found for them and soon. abbotshornet
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Fri 25 Jan 13

MarsLander says...

Hornets number 12 fan wrote:
Roy Stockdill wrote:
Could it possibly be that the RSPCA knows perfectly well that the supposed owners of these horses are gypsies but, like so many other people in authority, they are running scared of upsetting them because under our barmy, politically correct laws they now enjoy privileged and protected status just like other so-called "oppressed" minorities?

If the RSPCA know who the owner of these animals is, then why don't they say so and come clean about it? If indeed the owner, or owners, is leaving these horses on land that doesn't belong to him, then he is committing an offence. The RSPCA now seem to be far more concerned with politics than animal welfare, which is probably why their reputation, and contributions, is plummeting all the time.
Well said Roy it's about time the authorities grew a pair! Sick of the **** footing that's done around certain sections of our society where this sort of thing is concerned.
Equal treatment for all regardless of race etc.

It's the only way.
[quote][p][bold]Hornets number 12 fan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Roy Stockdill[/bold] wrote: Could it possibly be that the RSPCA knows perfectly well that the supposed owners of these horses are gypsies but, like so many other people in authority, they are running scared of upsetting them because under our barmy, politically correct laws they now enjoy privileged and protected status just like other so-called "oppressed" minorities? If the RSPCA know who the owner of these animals is, then why don't they say so and come clean about it? If indeed the owner, or owners, is leaving these horses on land that doesn't belong to him, then he is committing an offence. The RSPCA now seem to be far more concerned with politics than animal welfare, which is probably why their reputation, and contributions, is plummeting all the time.[/p][/quote]Well said Roy it's about time the authorities grew a pair! Sick of the **** footing that's done around certain sections of our society where this sort of thing is concerned.[/p][/quote]Equal treatment for all regardless of race etc. It's the only way. MarsLander
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Fri 25 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

Travellers are NOT an ethnic group, whatever the law may say. The vast majority are not genuine gypsies anyway, they are principally a mixture of Irish tinkers and left-over disaffected hippies from the 1970s, etc.

When they choose to flout the law, as they so often do, especially when moving onto land without permission and making life utter hell for residents, then do not deserve to be treated with equality.

I've had them at my door wanting to tarmac my driveway and when you tell them you're not interested they can turn quite nasty.

I would accord them some respect and agree with you that they should be treated equally, if only they were not so anti-social and put themselves outside what most of us recognise as acceptable, normal society.
Travellers are NOT an ethnic group, whatever the law may say. The vast majority are not genuine gypsies anyway, they are principally a mixture of Irish tinkers and left-over disaffected hippies from the 1970s, etc. When they choose to flout the law, as they so often do, especially when moving onto land without permission and making life utter hell for residents, then do not deserve to be treated with equality. I've had them at my door wanting to tarmac my driveway and when you tell them you're not interested they can turn quite nasty. I would accord them some respect and agree with you that they should be treated equally, if only they were not so anti-social and put themselves outside what most of us recognise as acceptable, normal society. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

11:54am Tue 29 Jan 13

CaptainPC says...

Are these horse really in any danger?

There are similar horses in Attenborough fields and they are all well fed and healthy.

Where there are problems the owner can be contacted and and they are attended.

It's quite boring the way that people immediately use this as an excuse to air their barely controlled bigotry.

Do these people take apples and hay to sheep and cattle?

I bet they don't.
Are these horse really in any danger? There are similar horses in Attenborough fields and they are all well fed and healthy. Where there are problems the owner can be contacted and and they are attended. It's quite boring the way that people immediately use this as an excuse to air their barely controlled bigotry. Do these people take apples and hay to sheep and cattle? I bet they don't. CaptainPC
  • Score: 0

12:14pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Roy Stockdill says...

You are completely missing the point.

There must surely be some sort of law against invading somebody else's property and letting animals loose on it to graze. If not a criminal act, then it is clearly a breach of civil law and the land owner can quite properly seek to evict them.

It is not bigotry to condemn a group of people that continually flout the laws which honest people obey, as travellers frequently do. Any prejudice that exists they bring on themselves by their anti-social behaviour.
You are completely missing the point. There must surely be some sort of law against invading somebody else's property and letting animals loose on it to graze. If not a criminal act, then it is clearly a breach of civil law and the land owner can quite properly seek to evict them. It is not bigotry to condemn a group of people that continually flout the laws which honest people obey, as travellers frequently do. Any prejudice that exists they bring on themselves by their anti-social behaviour. Roy Stockdill
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Tue 29 Jan 13

CaptainPC says...

Yeah. There is a civil action that can be taken. This is what Warner are doing, it's mentioned in the article.

Someone said earlier that the RSPCA are aware and they know who owns these horses. There is no prosecution for neglect despite the charity's unquenchable thirst for legal bills. This suggests that the horses are being cared for. That was the original point I made.


The second point is that you have assumed these horses belong to travellers. You are probably correct in this as generally these are the type of animals that travellers would own.

BUT, you then use this as a hook to hang your boring, stereotypical views on.
Yeah. There is a civil action that can be taken. This is what Warner are doing, it's mentioned in the article. Someone said earlier that the RSPCA are aware and they know who owns these horses. There is no prosecution for neglect despite the charity's unquenchable thirst for legal bills. This suggests that the horses are being cared for. That was the original point I made. The second point is that you have assumed these horses belong to travellers. You are probably correct in this as generally these are the type of animals that travellers would own. BUT, you then use this as a hook to hang your boring, stereotypical views on. CaptainPC
  • Score: 0

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