Council wrangle leaves dead pony on road

A pony that escaped its paddock and was killed after running on to the A140 was left at the side of the road for hours because of a wrangle between county and district councils, it has emerged.

A pony that escaped its paddock and was killed after running on to the A140 was left at the side of the road for hours because of a wrangle between county and district councils, it has emerged.

The horse, aged in its mid-20s but deemed a pony because it was only 13 hands tall, escaped after gales blew a hole in the fence in its field close to the Hempnall crossroads.

It was then struck by a vehicle and died while covering one lane of the Norwich to Ipswich road last Tuesday just before 1am.

Police then notified Kelly Lunness, on call for South Norfolk Council that night, who came out to see what help she could offer but told officers she had no access to any heavy-lifting equipment.

Ms Lunness said police then called Norfolk County Council highways officials twice, but both times they said they could not come out to help.

A spokeswoman for the highways team said it had been agreed that district councils had responsibility for the disposal of animal carcasses found on the county's roads.

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She said that officials on duty offered to move it to the side of the road or cover it with a sheet and place warning lights around it - but told police they would not remove the bloodied horse completely.

Fortunately for the police, a passing motorist had called a member of staff at Redwings horse sanctuary who lived locally. He agreed to help move the horse and the highways team were told that their services were no longer required.

Ms Lunness said: “I asked if he had lifting equipment we could use to move the horse, and he said yes. He returned to pick up a winch, and between us, we managed to lift the horse on to the trailer.

“It is our responsibility to deal with dead animals on the highway, however, it is very rare to have an animal of this size blocking the road and so we don't have the heavy-lifting equipment needed to move it.

“That is why we asked the county council for assistance to make the road safe and free of obstruction.”

Nicola Markwell, spokeswoman for Redwings, said: “When we got there police and council officials were waiting for the highways team but we were able to offer our assistance in removing the pony from the road.

“The owner contacted us the next day via the police. It was one of those sad things that could have happened to anyone, but it was very emotional for everyone who dealt with it.”