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Vow made to deal with Bradford's rogue horses
Community leaders have vowed to take action to curb the danger of rogue Horses across Bradford after a five-year-old boy was kicked in the head by an illegally-tethered animal.
The Telegraph & Argus reported yesterday how Harlie Thompson needed a three-hour operation to stop part of his fractured skull piercing his brain after he was kicked when a horse reared up at Buttershaw Beck, Bradford, on Sunday.
Councillors in areas of the city blighted by problems caused by stray horses said action was being taken to impound animals and track down their owners, but said they would “not give up” in their fight.
Councillor Alan Wainwright (Lab, Tong) said that in Holme Wood, work by Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police and social housing group Incommunities had reduced the number of horses in the area from more than 120 to 33 in a year.
He said: “We have seen an improvement, but we won’t give up.
“These people don’t care where they put their horses – whether they’re near children’s play areas, ruining football pitches or blocking footpaths. There are places where they can pay to keep their horses but they don’t want to pay the money.
“It’s a very serious problem and we will work with our partners to take action against people who keep their horses in anti-social places. It needs to stop. These horses put people’s lives at risk.”
Councillor Howard Middleton (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe) said there were a number of horses tethered in fields in his ward and there had even been instances where horses had run free in Peel Park.
He said: “If a horse tethered in a field gets loose it can be extremely dangerous – especially if it gets on to the road.
“Children are attracted to horses and if they get close enough a horse could kick out. Something needs to be done to stop any more serious accidents.”
Harlie’s mother Laura Thompson, 23, of Mandale Grove, Buttershaw, said the horse that kicked her son had since been removed from the site but a different horse had been tethered at the same spot. She wants the owner of the horse to be tracked down and prosecuted.
The mum-of-three added: “Horses shouldn’t be tethered in areas where children play. Something needs to be done because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we’ve been through.”
RSPCA equine rehoming officer Sally Learoyd said tethering a horse can be “extremely dangerous” for the animal and she urged people to report cruelty to the RSPCA on 0333 1234 999.
Bradford Council urged anyone who sees a horse on public land to contact them on (01274) 431000. Anyone with information about Sunday’s incident should call police on 101.