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RSPCA probe into ponies 'left starving' on Crayford marshes

PUBLISHED: 12:01 24 November 2011

A pony near rubbish dumped on the Crayford marshes

A pony near rubbish dumped on the Crayford marshes

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An RSPCA investigation has been launched after a "dismayed" St John's Ambulance worker discovered starving pregnant ponies eating plastic bags on the Crayford marshes.

Dei Studman, 57, from north London was out walking her dog with her friend from Erith on Sunday when they came across a string of ponies huddled together under a bridge along Bob Dunn Way in Crayford.

The training assessor claims to have seen the group, which included two pregnant ponies and four foals, eating torn up plastic bags.

She said: “They were all huddled together under the bridge. They were starving, eating plastic bags, there’s no food for them and there’s no water there.

“They are in a very bad state. They can’t be left there with nothing to eat.”

The pair, who believe the animals belong to a group of travellers, contacted the RSPCA and were told that an inspector would be dispatched to the area.

However, after waiting for over an hour to meet the officer, they returned home distressed by what they had seen.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “On Sunday we had one RSPCA inspector on duty covering a wide area and dealing with emergency calls regarding injured animals in need of immediate help, so she was unable to get out to the horses.However, we are aware of these horses and do monitor them on a regular basis.

“We removed a horse from this area last week and the local inspector will return to look at these horses as a matter of priority.”

“Our inspectors have to prioritise all the reports of cruelty that they receive on a daily basis and attend those of an emergency nature first of all, followed by the other urgent calls about animals suffering.

“We would advice anyone who sees animals that they believe are suffering to contact the RSPCA on 03001234999.”

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