Fire crews take to boats to help feed horses stranded by flood
4:30pm Thursday 10th May 2012 in News
BARRY Fire Service was called out to feed horses stranded on flooded fields near Sully Moors Road last week.
Sixteen horses, including one pregnant mare and five foals, had become stranded on a disused railway embankment as they moved to higher ground to escape rising water after heavy rain.
Two inflatable boats from Barry Fire Service delivered bales of hay to the animals, before a vet was sent over by the Vale Council to check on their welfare.
An RSPCA vet concluded that the horses were ‘in no immediate danger’ and said they would continue to ‘monitor the situation’.
The initiative was a joint effort between Barry Fire Service and the British Horse Society, who had requested the help of emergency services to reach the animals.
It came after heavy rain caused severe flooding, leaving animal lovers worried for the horses’ wellbeing.
Meirion Evans, station manager of Barry Fire Station, said: "The water hadn’t subsided for them to come down and graze, so the British Horse Society called us.
"There were 11 adult horses and five foals, so we were ensuring they got food."
One onlooker, who regularly feeds the horses from Sully Moors Road, said: "We needed a boat to get to them as they were marooned. One of them is only two weeks old."
Ellie Griffiths, a welfare officer from the British Horse Society, climbed aboard one of the boats and delivered hay to the horses.
"The fire service has been absolutely magnificent. They have been very helpful and I can’t praise them enough," she said.
"This land is far from ideal for the horses. They were starving when we got there."
Vale MP Alun Cairns attended the scene and said: "The flooding exacerbated a difficult position.
"I would like to pay tribute to the local animal lovers and the Fire and Rescue service for the support they have given, but there is a longer-term issue that needs to be addressed and that’s up to the owners of the animals when conditions are so poor."
A Vale Council spokesperson said: "The vet employed by the council to examine the horses was satisfied with their current condition, and was happy that the land they were on to escape the floodwater provided adequate shelter.
"Trading Standards/Animal Welfare officers were meeting with the alleged owners on Friday, May 4 to discuss ongoing concerns raised by members of the public."