A horse welfare charity is calling for action to stop the increasing number of dead horses being dumped in Derbyshire.
Charity Help for Horses is concerned by the growing number of horses which are being left for dead across the county and says that people are ‘frightened’ to speak out because they are fearful of being targeted themselves.
The charity is urging authorities in Derbyshire to start enforcing the law before the problem gets out of hand.
Chairman of Help for Horses, Janice Dixon, said: “The dumping of dead horses in Derbyshire is a big problem which is being hidden.
“Many people seem to be frightened about speaking up because they are scared about what might happen to them.”
Legislation was introduced in 2009 stating all horses must be microchipped to ensure they can be correctly identified. If an owner fails to do so, they can be fined up to £5,000.
However, Janice says this law is not being properly enforced in Derbyshire.
“If they enforce the law we would not have this problem with all these dead horses being dumped,” she said. “This really needs changing.
“I want to appeal to the trading standards in Derbyshire and the crime commissioner to set up some protocols in place.”
She added: “There needs to be a hard-hitting approach to stop what is happening.
“It would not take that long to get the word out there. It’s not like we have to pass a law through Parliament because it is already there - it just needs enforcing.”
A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “In the last 12 months we have been notified of two incidents of dead horses being dumped illegally in the county, but in neither instance were the horses microchipped. We have received five other notifications relating to eight horses that have died and on each occasion they have been disposed of appropriately and in accordance with regulations covering the safe disposal of animals.
“While we have not been contacted by Janice Dixon we would welcome a discussion with her about her concerns and look at how we can work more closely with agencies including the police and the RSPCA. We know that seeing a dead horse in a field or at the side of the road is extremely distressing and are very keen to tackle this and bring perpetrators to justice.”