THE PUBLIC have been urged to stop feeding horses during walks in the countryside, following reports of horses taking seriously unwell and in some cases dying.

The warning came from the UK's largest equestrian charity, The British Horse Society, who have been made aware of increased instances of horses coming into difficulty with more people taking to the countryside during the pandemic.

Director of Welfare at The BHS, Alan Hiscox, said: “The BHS is urging members of the public not to feed horses in fields as this can cause serious illness and be potentially life threatening. We believe many people act with no malicious intent and are simply unaware of the risks that certain foods or grass cuttings can pose to horses.

“We encourage horse owners to download signs the BHS has produced warning the public not to feed their horse,” he continued. “The greater the awareness of the issue, the more likely people are to change their behaviour in the future.”

The BHS has stressed to the public that they must leave gates and property as they find them, take all litter home, keep dogs on a lead and remove faeces.

They added that members of the public should give horses lots of a space and avoid coming between mothers and their young, and that if they come across a horse in distress, to alert the nearest farm or yard, and look for a sign with owners details on it.

If you would like to download one of the BHS warning posters to place on your premises they can be found here -