A HORSE owner has urged people to stop feeding animals after her family’s pet died of suspected poisoning.
Shadow, an eight-month-old horse, who lived on Salterbeck field on Sedbergh Road, Kendal, died after he was fed potatoes skins by a passer-by, his owners believe.
According to horsemart.co.uk, potatoes should not be fed to horses as they belong to the toxic Solanaceae plant family.
Shadow’s owner Becky Owens, 38, from Kendal, has described the loss of her horse as heartbreaking and is calling for more awareness to be raised on the dangers of livestock being fed improperly by members of the public.
“We have posts on the gates warning people they can’t just feed the horses, but they do it anyway,” she said.
“It happens almost every day. People have messaged us telling us that they have seen cars and vans pull up with boxes of food and a lot of it can be very dangerous for the horses to eat.
“Horses live on a very strictly controlled diet which many people don’t understand. You can’t just feed them anything. It’s dangerous.”
“This is so serious people don’t understand. Just don’t do it.”
She said when she found Shadow dead there were potato skins ‘all around him’.
“People have tried to feed him grass as well,” she said.
“This whole experience has been heart-breaking. This is the first animal I’ve lost and my son is devastated about it. Shadow was there to help him with his learning difficulties. They were meant to grow up together, but now they can’t.
“Horses get enough food. They have a bale to eat from and water, so people don’t have to do this.
“The foods that are particularly dangerous to horses are potatoes and cabbages, as well as a lot of others. People can just google them, and even then, they shouldn’t be doing it anyway.
“You wouldn’t go up to a stranger’s dog and begin feeding it so why do it with horses?
“All I can say to people is ‘stop’. It’s dangerous and now Shadow is dead.
“This behaviour can kill and it has killed.”
She is now supporting a petition to make the feeding of livestock by members of the public a specific criminal offence.