RESIDENTS in Newbiggin claim horses have been left abandoned without water or food.
One woman told town councillors she had seen from her kitchen window a foal being born, but there had been no one there to help the animal.
Another told last week’s meeting of Newbiggin Town Council that some horses seemed to have been just left by their owners.
“Horses are tethered and they don’t get water, and nothing to eat either,” she said.
“They are not getting a drink in this heat, and there’s no grass. It’s as bare as a billiard ball.”
People living in the Storey Crescent, King George’s Road and Latimer Way area of the village say they take pity on the animals and carry buckets of water out to them.
As reported previously in the News Post Leader, residents are worried that the horses could pose a danger to children because those that aren’t tethered often roam around the streets and graze in gardens.
Owners have no consent to use the part-fenced land, owned by Northumberland County Council, for grazing.
The local authority intends to clear it for tree planting and has been working with the police, animal welfare workers and Bernicia Homes to tackle the issue.
Police say owners often fail to reclaim horses seized in such operations because it can be cheaper to buy another horse than to pay the recovery fee.
Town council chairman Rebecca McCready told concerned members of the public at last week’s meeting, held in the town’s sports centre, that fervent efforts are being made by the authorities to solve the problem.
She said: “It’s unfortunately a difficult situation to resolve because unless there are clear animal welfare rights being infringed, it falls between many, many stools.”
Coun Malcolm Peden said: “Newbiggin has had horse problems all my life but not as bad as they are now.”
County council animal welfare officers are now monitoring the horses.