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Horse owner pleads with public to stop feeding

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By Euan Maxwell
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Horse owner pleads with public to stop feeding

A DUMFRIES horse owner has pleaded with people to stop feed- ing horses whilst on their walks after one became gravely unwell.

Kelly Gibson was left distraught when she saw her seven-year-old daughter Darcy’s pony Lily lying in agony with a twisted gut at Craigs Road last week.

After checks with her vet, it is believed that walkers handing out food caused Lily to become under the weather.

Whilst Kelly believes people are feeding horses purely through kind-hearted reasons, she has warned the food could cause the animals problems and even lead to them dying.

Kelly said: “Since lockdown, people have been walking more and seem to think it is okay to feed horses they see in fields. But it’s not. People need to stop feeding horses on their walks as they could kill them. People think they are helping but they are not.

“We have signs up saying don’t feed the animals but that seems to have been ignored.

“The vet said it is likely Lily was fed something from the many people out walking on the Craigs Road. It was the second case the vet had been to on this road in the last week.”

Thankfully Lily is on the road to recovery and is desperate to get back out with her friends.

A campaign aiming to educate the public on the dangers of feeding equines without owners’ permission is gathering force at local and national levels. A Facebook group called ‘Stop Feeding Our Horses’ has been set up with the aim of spread-ing the word. It comes after a large number of incidents of horses and ponies suffering illness and injury, and dying, after they were fed by members of the public.

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