VETS have moved in to save 46 skeletal horses which had been left without food or water and were covered with parasites and wounds from fights.
Working with volunteers from the animal charity 30 Millions d’Amis and the Brigitte Bardot Foundation they rounded up the horses in a small paddock near the Normandy town of Argentan and moved them to Centre d'Hébergement pour Equidés Maltraités stables.
Stallions, mares and foals had been left to fend for themselves in the tiny paddock at Mardilly and vets had been keeping a watch on them since June. Warning letters had been sent to the owner of the site telling him to separate the stallions from the females and find a bigger field, but they had been ignored.
The owner will face a court hearing in Argentan tomorrow accused of abandoning the animals without food or water and of failing to register the animals.
Gendarmes and charity volunteers joined vets to round up the horses yesterday morning and transport them to animal hospitals elsewhere in Orne.
Photo: Fondation Brigitte Bardot