Horses shot by council were 'a danger to dog walkers and children'

Horses shot by council were 'a danger to dog walkers and children'

Horses shot by council were 'a danger to dog walkers and children'

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

Two horses were shot "very reluctantly" in Leavesden Country Park as they posed a risk to people, according to Three Rivers District Council.

Police were called to the scene on Tuesday, March 4 following calls from members of the public at around 3.30pm saying they had spotted loose horses in the area.

The horses were eventually located on the local authority’s land.

Officers closed a nearby road to ensure the safety of the public and the incident was dealt with by Three Rivers District Council.

A spokesman for Three Rivers District Council said: "The decision to put the horses down was made very reluctantly."

Attempts were made to find the owners but no one came forward. If captured, the horses would have been held for 14 days.

Rebecca Emmett, Head of Regulatory Services, said: "Two unregistered stray horses which were galloping unsupervised in the Country Park were put down following a four hour attempt by the police and the district council to capture them.

"The horses were an immediate danger to dog walkers and to children in the park and were at risk of straying onto the A41, Woodside Road, East Lane or College Road. The decision to put down the horses was made reluctantly in the interests of the safety of the public. This was undertaken quickly and humanely under careful supervision."

Comments (18)

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12:47pm Fri 21 Mar 14

croxley46 says...

It's the OWNERS who should be shot, if you can find them.
It's the OWNERS who should be shot, if you can find them. croxley46
  • Score: 18

1:07pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Toshhorn2 says...

why couldn't the have been tranquilised? then found a home for? Cost the most important factor, not safety.
Poor horses, can never be the best solution to kill a healthy animal.
I hope the people who put them in this field have horrible things happen to them in the future.
why couldn't the have been tranquilised? then found a home for? Cost the most important factor, not safety. Poor horses, can never be the best solution to kill a healthy animal. I hope the people who put them in this field have horrible things happen to them in the future. Toshhorn2
  • Score: 26

1:15pm Fri 21 Mar 14

garston tony says...

I doubt the owners would have come forward even if the horses hadnt been shot.

It does seem very over the top to shoot the horses however. Sounds like the council just got bored of trying to capture them, knew they wouldnt find the owners and didnt want the hassle of stabling them for the two weeks before they could get rid of them.

Poor show I think
I doubt the owners would have come forward even if the horses hadnt been shot. It does seem very over the top to shoot the horses however. Sounds like the council just got bored of trying to capture them, knew they wouldnt find the owners and didnt want the hassle of stabling them for the two weeks before they could get rid of them. Poor show I think garston tony
  • Score: 22

1:24pm Fri 21 Mar 14

CaptainPC says...

I hope they aren't wasted. Could be used to feed dogs at NAWT.
I hope they aren't wasted. Could be used to feed dogs at NAWT. CaptainPC
  • Score: -13

1:25pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Hairy Hornet says...

garston tony wrote:
I doubt the owners would have come forward even if the horses hadnt been shot.

It does seem very over the top to shoot the horses however. Sounds like the council just got bored of trying to capture them, knew they wouldnt find the owners and didnt want the hassle of stabling them for the two weeks before they could get rid of them.

Poor show I think
I agree. No attempts seem to have been made to re-home them, unless it hasnt been reported. Maybe if they had stabled them for 14 days a charity might have been able to help. Too much effort I suppose.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: I doubt the owners would have come forward even if the horses hadnt been shot. It does seem very over the top to shoot the horses however. Sounds like the council just got bored of trying to capture them, knew they wouldnt find the owners and didnt want the hassle of stabling them for the two weeks before they could get rid of them. Poor show I think[/p][/quote]I agree. No attempts seem to have been made to re-home them, unless it hasnt been reported. Maybe if they had stabled them for 14 days a charity might have been able to help. Too much effort I suppose. Hairy Hornet
  • Score: 23

5:03pm Fri 21 Mar 14

garry.armstrong232@btinternet.com says...

what you like three rivers how would you like it if some one shot your horse all becuse they couldnt be boverd to find a new home for these horse it criminal for what you have done its murder
what you like three rivers how would you like it if some one shot your horse all becuse they couldnt be boverd to find a new home for these horse it criminal for what you have done its murder garry.armstrong232@btinternet.com
  • Score: 8

12:23am Sat 22 Mar 14

Honest Rog says...

garry.armstrong232@b
tinternet.com
wrote:
what you like three rivers how would you like it if some one shot your horse all becuse they couldnt be boverd to find a new home for these horse it criminal for what you have done its murder
I think the owner's just revealed themselves, a.k.a. "Mr Smith"
[quote][p][bold]garry.armstrong232@b tinternet.com[/bold] wrote: what you like three rivers how would you like it if some one shot your horse all becuse they couldnt be boverd to find a new home for these horse it criminal for what you have done its murder[/p][/quote]I think the owner's just revealed themselves, a.k.a. "Mr Smith" Honest Rog
  • Score: 5

10:19am Sat 22 Mar 14

HermanGoering says...

I think we know who is to blame. You are just not allowed to say who it is in these PC times.
I think we know who is to blame. You are just not allowed to say who it is in these PC times. HermanGoering
  • Score: 8

11:56am Sat 22 Mar 14

watford born says...

The council could always sell them to Tecos
The council could always sell them to Tecos watford born
  • Score: 1

5:52pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford says...

Sad to resort to this. I fail to see how you can't catch a couple of horses if you try hard enough.

All you need is a bag of apples probably.
Sad to resort to this. I fail to see how you can't catch a couple of horses if you try hard enough. All you need is a bag of apples probably. Phil Cox - UKIP Mayoral candidate for Watford
  • Score: 5

9:51pm Sat 22 Mar 14

alfons says...

Are these by any chance the same two horses (chestnut brown, unsaddled, unattended) that were in the road and blocking traffic near "The Bell" in Bedmond recently? Someone said they came from a field nearby.
Are these by any chance the same two horses (chestnut brown, unsaddled, unattended) that were in the road and blocking traffic near "The Bell" in Bedmond recently? Someone said they came from a field nearby. alfons
  • Score: 3

9:47am Sun 23 Mar 14

blonde demon says...

an article has appeared in todays mail on sunday about this and in it was a claim that a man on a quad bike was chasing the horses around the park before he shot them, no wonder the horses were running wouldnt you ??!!!! anyone with an once of sense would see you just wait till the animals settled then you approach them calmly not rush at them on a quad bike also was this man licenced to shoot them i thought only a vet could do this why wasnt the RSPCA called by the police why was the council allowed to run this and not the police they would of handled the situation calmly and with more respect to the animals sounds like THREE RIVERS took the save money solution not the humane one , who got the money for the slaughtered animals when they were taken to the abbotroire either the council or the man with the gun i expect i do hope the RSPCA investigate this as surely its a case of cruelty to animals
an article has appeared in todays mail on sunday about this and in it was a claim that a man on a quad bike was chasing the horses around the park before he shot them, no wonder the horses were running wouldnt you ??!!!! anyone with an once of sense would see you just wait till the animals settled then you approach them calmly not rush at them on a quad bike also was this man licenced to shoot them i thought only a vet could do this why wasnt the RSPCA called by the police why was the council allowed to run this and not the police they would of handled the situation calmly and with more respect to the animals sounds like THREE RIVERS took the save money solution not the humane one , who got the money for the slaughtered animals when they were taken to the abbotroire either the council or the man with the gun i expect i do hope the RSPCA investigate this as surely its a case of cruelty to animals blonde demon
  • Score: 10

10:00am Sun 23 Mar 14

HermanGoering says...

Let's be honest....this is getting more and more common.
Certain people buy and breed horses-They are relatively cheap and can generally be left on common land to fend for themselves -due to the fact they are not "meat" animals in this country there's no regulation on them.

These horses would have ended up as food in Belgium. Let's have them as food for dogs in Bushey.

The council has cracked down as people are taking the mick fly tipping horses.....It's sad but most people eat dead animals....
Let's be honest....this is getting more and more common. Certain people buy and breed horses-They are relatively cheap and can generally be left on common land to fend for themselves -due to the fact they are not "meat" animals in this country there's no regulation on them. These horses would have ended up as food in Belgium. Let's have them as food for dogs in Bushey. The council has cracked down as people are taking the mick fly tipping horses.....It's sad but most people eat dead animals.... HermanGoering
  • Score: -5

4:20pm Sun 23 Mar 14

D_Penn says...

Anyone who has spent time with horses will be appalled by this.

Of course, the owners have a lot to answer for in the first place, but I find it hard to believe it was necessary to shoot them. The article says that if the horses had been captured they would have been held for 14 days, which means that the horses were running free when shot. It must have taken some time to get marksmen out and in place and then clear the area to allow shots to be fired in a public area, so were quicker and more effective alternate options considered?

There is not much detail given here, but there are plenty of riding establishments around and anyone who rides horses are already very well versed in the various methods and tricks to use when collecting loose horses. Any one of them would probably have brought the horses under control considerably quicker than bringing out a police marksman team who are likely to be ill equipped to bring down horses anyway.

Those who love horses would have given their time freely and willingly to help. I would personally be very upset if this avenue was not considered because the chance of having a successful outcome would have been extremely high.

I would also have thought it would have been a safer option too than having bullets whizzing around. Instead of a guaranteed humane death, the horses must have been shot at whilst moving free using weapons not designed for the task which risked wounding rather than killing. I hope they did not suffer.
Anyone who has spent time with horses will be appalled by this. Of course, the owners have a lot to answer for in the first place, but I find it hard to believe it was necessary to shoot them. The article says that if the horses had been captured they would have been held for 14 days, which means that the horses were running free when shot. It must have taken some time to get marksmen out and in place and then clear the area to allow shots to be fired in a public area, so were quicker and more effective alternate options considered? There is not much detail given here, but there are plenty of riding establishments around and anyone who rides horses are already very well versed in the various methods and tricks to use when collecting loose horses. Any one of them would probably have brought the horses under control considerably quicker than bringing out a police marksman team who are likely to be ill equipped to bring down horses anyway. Those who love horses would have given their time freely and willingly to help. I would personally be very upset if this avenue was not considered because the chance of having a successful outcome would have been extremely high. I would also have thought it would have been a safer option too than having bullets whizzing around. Instead of a guaranteed humane death, the horses must have been shot at whilst moving free using weapons not designed for the task which risked wounding rather than killing. I hope they did not suffer. D_Penn
  • Score: 6

4:59pm Sun 23 Mar 14

D_Penn says...

The story is quite depressing, so as a counter I'll just briefly relate a funny story from almost forty years ago.

My parents, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I were driving home late from a posh dinner dance when, coming down a main street in Slough, we suddenly saw a group of loose horses trotting merrily along the road.

Clearly something had to be done, so we managed to get the car in front of them and then we all jumped out and spread ourselves across the road whilst talking to them. They stopped trotting and huddled together as we tried to usher them down a small side road into a more rural zone.

Suddenly we heard hoots of laughter from across the other side of the road. A small group of people had stopped to watch our antics and only then did we realise how ridiculous we looked herding horses with us men in our dinner jackets and bow ties and the women in long dresses and high heels.

It wasn't over though as we managed to take hold of one horse who had a head collar on and lead the others down the side lane. Anyone watching us strolling in the moonlight in full evening dress with a herd of horses in tow would have thought we had all taken leave of our senses. Fortunately, by sheer luck, we quickly found a gate opening into a small field ideal for horses, opened it and them led in.

We later phoned the police to let them know what we'd done, but couldn't tell them exactly where we'd been. I've often wonder what the field's owner thought the next day waking up to find several unexpected guests grazing away. Still I'm sure it all ended happily and I would guess the owners in this case were very happy that someone took care of their horses. My wife never did get the mud off those shoes though.
The story is quite depressing, so as a counter I'll just briefly relate a funny story from almost forty years ago. My parents, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I were driving home late from a posh dinner dance when, coming down a main street in Slough, we suddenly saw a group of loose horses trotting merrily along the road. Clearly something had to be done, so we managed to get the car in front of them and then we all jumped out and spread ourselves across the road whilst talking to them. They stopped trotting and huddled together as we tried to usher them down a small side road into a more rural zone. Suddenly we heard hoots of laughter from across the other side of the road. A small group of people had stopped to watch our antics and only then did we realise how ridiculous we looked herding horses with us men in our dinner jackets and bow ties and the women in long dresses and high heels. It wasn't over though as we managed to take hold of one horse who had a head collar on and lead the others down the side lane. Anyone watching us strolling in the moonlight in full evening dress with a herd of horses in tow would have thought we had all taken leave of our senses. Fortunately, by sheer luck, we quickly found a gate opening into a small field ideal for horses, opened it and them led in. We later phoned the police to let them know what we'd done, but couldn't tell them exactly where we'd been. I've often wonder what the field's owner thought the next day waking up to find several unexpected guests grazing away. Still I'm sure it all ended happily and I would guess the owners in this case were very happy that someone took care of their horses. My wife never did get the mud off those shoes though. D_Penn
  • Score: 1

3:09pm Mon 24 Mar 14

CaptainPC says...

D_Penn wrote:
Anyone who has spent time with horses will be appalled by this.

Of course, the owners have a lot to answer for in the first place, but I find it hard to believe it was necessary to shoot them. The article says that if the horses had been captured they would have been held for 14 days, which means that the horses were running free when shot. It must have taken some time to get marksmen out and in place and then clear the area to allow shots to be fired in a public area, so were quicker and more effective alternate options considered?

There is not much detail given here, but there are plenty of riding establishments around and anyone who rides horses are already very well versed in the various methods and tricks to use when collecting loose horses. Any one of them would probably have brought the horses under control considerably quicker than bringing out a police marksman team who are likely to be ill equipped to bring down horses anyway.

Those who love horses would have given their time freely and willingly to help. I would personally be very upset if this avenue was not considered because the chance of having a successful outcome would have been extremely high.

I would also have thought it would have been a safer option too than having bullets whizzing around. Instead of a guaranteed humane death, the horses must have been shot at whilst moving free using weapons not designed for the task which risked wounding rather than killing. I hope they did not suffer.
The article in the Mail quoted a spokeswoman from Three Lakes council.....when people get the complete basic facts wrong, it raises a question in my mind.....When they say shot do they mean with a firearm or a boltgun....

No facts in this article.

End the day if these had been bears or pitbulls no oner would care....
[quote][p][bold]D_Penn[/bold] wrote: Anyone who has spent time with horses will be appalled by this. Of course, the owners have a lot to answer for in the first place, but I find it hard to believe it was necessary to shoot them. The article says that if the horses had been captured they would have been held for 14 days, which means that the horses were running free when shot. It must have taken some time to get marksmen out and in place and then clear the area to allow shots to be fired in a public area, so were quicker and more effective alternate options considered? There is not much detail given here, but there are plenty of riding establishments around and anyone who rides horses are already very well versed in the various methods and tricks to use when collecting loose horses. Any one of them would probably have brought the horses under control considerably quicker than bringing out a police marksman team who are likely to be ill equipped to bring down horses anyway. Those who love horses would have given their time freely and willingly to help. I would personally be very upset if this avenue was not considered because the chance of having a successful outcome would have been extremely high. I would also have thought it would have been a safer option too than having bullets whizzing around. Instead of a guaranteed humane death, the horses must have been shot at whilst moving free using weapons not designed for the task which risked wounding rather than killing. I hope they did not suffer.[/p][/quote]The article in the Mail quoted a spokeswoman from Three Lakes council.....when people get the complete basic facts wrong, it raises a question in my mind.....When they say shot do they mean with a firearm or a boltgun.... No facts in this article. End the day if these had been bears or pitbulls no oner would care.... CaptainPC
  • Score: -1

3:09pm Mon 24 Mar 14

CaptainPC says...

D_Penn wrote:
Anyone who has spent time with horses will be appalled by this.

Of course, the owners have a lot to answer for in the first place, but I find it hard to believe it was necessary to shoot them. The article says that if the horses had been captured they would have been held for 14 days, which means that the horses were running free when shot. It must have taken some time to get marksmen out and in place and then clear the area to allow shots to be fired in a public area, so were quicker and more effective alternate options considered?

There is not much detail given here, but there are plenty of riding establishments around and anyone who rides horses are already very well versed in the various methods and tricks to use when collecting loose horses. Any one of them would probably have brought the horses under control considerably quicker than bringing out a police marksman team who are likely to be ill equipped to bring down horses anyway.

Those who love horses would have given their time freely and willingly to help. I would personally be very upset if this avenue was not considered because the chance of having a successful outcome would have been extremely high.

I would also have thought it would have been a safer option too than having bullets whizzing around. Instead of a guaranteed humane death, the horses must have been shot at whilst moving free using weapons not designed for the task which risked wounding rather than killing. I hope they did not suffer.
What if they were Romanian horses?
[quote][p][bold]D_Penn[/bold] wrote: Anyone who has spent time with horses will be appalled by this. Of course, the owners have a lot to answer for in the first place, but I find it hard to believe it was necessary to shoot them. The article says that if the horses had been captured they would have been held for 14 days, which means that the horses were running free when shot. It must have taken some time to get marksmen out and in place and then clear the area to allow shots to be fired in a public area, so were quicker and more effective alternate options considered? There is not much detail given here, but there are plenty of riding establishments around and anyone who rides horses are already very well versed in the various methods and tricks to use when collecting loose horses. Any one of them would probably have brought the horses under control considerably quicker than bringing out a police marksman team who are likely to be ill equipped to bring down horses anyway. Those who love horses would have given their time freely and willingly to help. I would personally be very upset if this avenue was not considered because the chance of having a successful outcome would have been extremely high. I would also have thought it would have been a safer option too than having bullets whizzing around. Instead of a guaranteed humane death, the horses must have been shot at whilst moving free using weapons not designed for the task which risked wounding rather than killing. I hope they did not suffer.[/p][/quote]What if they were Romanian horses? CaptainPC
  • Score: -1

3:31pm Mon 24 Mar 14

D_Penn says...

@CaptainPC

You said: "When they say shot do they mean with a firearm or a boltgun...."

To use a bolt gun or other humane killer a horse would need to be tethered. Had the horses been so restrained then the article says they would have been kept for 14 days. I.e. They would have ceased to be a risk and would not have been killed. That snippet more or less proves that the horses must have been loose when they were shot and therefore a firearm would have been used.
@CaptainPC You said: "When they say shot do they mean with a firearm or a boltgun...." To use a bolt gun or other humane killer a horse would need to be tethered. Had the horses been so restrained then the article says they would have been kept for 14 days. I.e. They would have ceased to be a risk and would not have been killed. That snippet more or less proves that the horses must have been loose when they were shot and therefore a firearm would have been used. D_Penn
  • Score: 0

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