HORSE lovers are outraged after a foal was allegedly shot by the RSPCA and left to rot in a South Gloucestershire field.
According to locals in Severn Beach the dead foal lay within sight of children using a nearby playground.
A letter from the RSPCA headed "Removal of animals left unattended' was posted at the site on January 8 saying it had dealt with a bay gelding horse in the field because of animal welfare concerns.
The notice says the charity wants to speak to the owner or keeper of the horse to discuss its welfare.
Local resident Kieran Ashdown, who took pictures of the dead horse and sign, said the foal was one of two horses “dumped” in the field on Western Approach Industrial Estate in “rough, old grazing land with no food or water”.
He said: "The RSPCA shot one horse and the other was just left to roam the land as it pleased.
"Fly grazing of horses like these is an ongoing problem around here and it isn't getting any better at all.
"I believe the owners of these horses are people who have ASBOs on them and they are not supposed to keep horses under any circumstances.
"But that doesn't seem to bother them as they continue to cause harm to horses. I've even addressed it to the police who are dealing with the ASBOs and also to Robert Griffin the local councillor but nothing is being done about it."
Mr Ashdown's mother, Becky, said: "It was so sad to see that foal dead in the field. The RSPCA have said they shot it but we don't know why.
"The other foal was just left there in the field with the carcass of the dead one and I think it was quite distressed about it. It was close to a playground but someone has now moved the body a bit further away.
"It just isn't right that they should put the horse down but then leave its body behind.
"Those two horses were without water or food for weeks and all they got was from passers-by who felt sorry for them.
"We believe they belong to travellers who have quite a few horses around here. It's terrible how they don't look after them properly."
The plight of the animals shocked horse-lover Katie Merrett from Stroud who has been trying to find out who owned the foal.
"I have been in touch with the RSPCA and as far as I can gather they decided it was in ill health and had to be put down," she said.
"They said it was the kindest thing to do. I told them it was wrong they had left it next to a play area for children but they said it's not their responsibility to remove it even though they put it down.
"They say it's up to the landowner or the owner to remove it.
"It was very distressing for local children leaving a dead foal where they could see it from their play area."
The RSPCA have been asked to comment but have so far not responded.