1:30pm Thursday 24th January 2013
By Rebecca Perring
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."
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