The Facebook page dedicated to helping about 20 horses on a flood plain in Leceistershire, England, has surged past 40,000 “likes”, as moves are afoot to move the animals to better ground.
Everards Brewery, which owns the Fosse Park land but leases it for grazing, said it was helping the owner to seek alternative land as ongoing storms left much of Britain sodden.
Brewery managing director Stephen Gould said he had spoken directly with the owner of the horses, Leicestershire Police, the RSPCA, and members of the public to understand the current problem and to consider ways to move forward.
“The land is let on a grazing agreement, but is owned by Everards. I fully understand that, as owners, we have responsibilities, but at the same time it has been very important to consider the views of the other parties involved.
“The owner of the horses has co-operated with the RSPCA and both he and the RSPCA are in regular contact, including communication between both parties’ professional equine vets.
“I am encouraging the owner to relocate the horses and we are helping him to look for suitable alternative land to do so. I am making progress in this area and will provide an update when I have more information.
“Working with the owner, I intend to help him to relocate the horses as soon as is practicably possible.”
Gould said many members of the public had raised concerns about the suitability of the land for grazing.
He said he wanted to reiterate the RSPCA’s view that the land was suitable, but not ideal due to recent flooding. The horses, he noted, were kept on a huge area of land and had areas of dry land that they can move to freely.
“I will continue to provide updates and to work closely with the horse owner and other authorities in an attempt to bring this matter to a good conclusion,” he said.
The Facebook campaign was launched by local farrier Mark Johnson, who had tried to rescue a horse he found lying in the floodwaters. It was later helped to firm ground by firefighters, but was then assessed and euthanised.
The RSPCA said it was monitoring the horses’ welfare and was helping the owner.
The animals are on land near the Fosse Retail Park, in Leicester. However, it is part of a river flood plain and sodden conditions in recent weeks have sparked flooding in the area.
Facebook supporters are being instructed not to feed the horses or turn up at the scene to help as the matter was under inquiry.
“We must not feed these horses or take them away. I know this is difficult as none of us want to see them in these conditions but we must follow the correct channels,” supporters were told.