Locals horrified as council has stray horses shot dead in front of bystanders

'Reluctant' decision to kill the horses was made after council and police were unable to capture them

Local people have condemned a council as ‘wicked’ after it had two horses shot dead because they had entered a park unsupervised.

The animals were killed after police were called to Leavesden Country Park in Hertfordshire following reports of horses being on the loose in the area.

Police along with the workers for the Three Rivers District Council then spent four hours attempting to capture them.

When they couldn’t, the decisions was made to shoot the pair and a gun wielding man riding a quad bike was deployed.

“I saw it all. The police and council didn’t know what they were doing,” an unnamed local farmer told The Daily Mail.

“They spent two hours chasing the horses about which just made them more agitated. Had they just left them to calm down they would have been fine eventually.

“Instead they brought this man in who was following the horses around on a quad bike. He shot both animals in the head. It was wicked.”

The manager at a local riding centre added that he did not understand why the council or police didn’t ask for professional help. "The reason people are so angry is because they didn’t even bother to dart them," he told The Mail.

The The RSPCA said it had not been contacted by the council during the incident either.

Three Rivers District Council spokesperson claimed that efforts had been made to locate the owners of the horses, but no one came forward.

Rebecca Emmett, Head of Regulatory Services said the horses had to be killed as they were a danger to the public.

“Two unregistered stray horses which were galloping unsupervised in the Country Park were put down following a four hour attempt by the police and the district council to capture them,” she told The Watford Observer.

“The horses were an immediate danger to dog walkers and to children in the park and were at risk of straying onto the A41, Woodside Road, East Lane or College Road.

"The decision to put down the horses was made reluctantly in the interests of the safety of the public. This was undertaken quickly and humanely under careful supervision."

But local resident Sally Weston, who saw the horses while walking her two dogs, told The Mail that she felt there was “was absolutely no need” to kill the animals.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living