THE REMAINS of a dead foal that was shot and left to rot in a Severn Beach field have finally been removed – after nine days.

Last week the Thornbury Gazette reported that a foal, discovered by locals on Western Approach Industrial Estate, had been shot by the RSPCA a week earlier.

The RSCPA have confirmed that an officer was called to a report of a collapsed bay gelding horse in the field on January 8.

A spokesman for the animal welfare charity said: “The officer spent a number of hours with the horse, along with representatives from equine charities World Horse Welfare and Horse World, in an attempt to help the animal recover.

“The horse couldn't stand up, despite attempts to help it. We do not know what the underlying problem was."

The RSPCA said the horse was “put to sleep” on the advice of the veterinary surgeon who examined the animal.

“It was the vet's opinion that the horse should be put to sleep to end its suffering which of course we accepted as we always act on vet advice. We won't go into the method used.”

When asked why the remains had not been removed from the field sooner the RSPCA said they were not legally responsible for removing them.

“Investigations are still ongoing to trace the landowners, who are legally responsible for the removal of the horse’s body, and owner of the horse.

“Although it is legally the landowner’s responsibility to remove the bodies of dead animals from their property, the RSPCA is in this instance and at our expense arranged the removal of the horse’s body.”

Local resident Kieran Ashdown said: “I think it’s disgusting. It wasn’t right that they put the horse down and left its body behind.

Mr Ashdown said the foal was shot and another horse was left in the field in a distressed state with the carcass.

His mother Becky said the horses were in the field without food or water for weeks. She said the only food they got was from passers-by “who felt sorry for them”.

“It was so sad to see the foal dead in the field just lying out in the open with blood all around its head. The RSPCA shot it but we don’t know why.”

Since last week’s coverage the second animal has been removed from the field.

Mr Ashdown said fly-grazing was an ongoing problem in the area.

“I believe the owners of these horses 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 addressed it to the police but nothing is being done about it.

“It just seems to be falling on deaf ears.”

Anyone with any information about the horse or the landowners, or with concerns for the welfare of any animal, can contact the RSPCA by calling 0300 1234 999.