Horses removed from river banks near Earith in the Fens
- Credit: Archant
Horses left to graze on the flood banks of the Ouse Washes have been removed.
Sixteen animals were being kept on the banks of the Hundred Foot, near Earith.
The Environment Agency, which owns the land, said the horses had been illegally left on the tidal flood banks for six years without its permission.
While on the site, the horses have caused some damage to the flood defences and prevented vital maintenance work.
A notice to remove the animals was served two weeks ago and although most were taken away, one young horse was left behind.
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The animalo has now been removed by the EA, the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare and taken to an animal sanctuary, where it will be kept until it can be re-homed. Fencing which has been put up on the site will now be taken down leaving the banks open to the road.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: 'Fly-grazing can cause significant problems for landowners and has persisted at this location for some time.
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'This has resulted in recurring costs to the taxpayer in additional flood bank maintenance. Officers have also spent a significant amount of time attempting to persuade the owners remove the animals.'