The callous dumping of a dead horse at the side of a Langwith country lane has been branded ‘disgusting’ by a local animal lover.
The piebald cob - or gypsy horse as they are often known - was discovered at 8pm on Thursday night on a track just off Whaley Road by a man and his son out walking.
They telephoned the police to report the incident, but the animal was still there this morning.
Sarah Betts, who lives in Langwith, has tried to make fresh contact with the authorities to get the horse removed, which was still in situ at noon today.
The RSPCA have now dispatched an officer to the scene, but responsibility for removal of the horse in the absence of being able to contact the owner lies with the landowner.
“As someone who has worked with horses for 18 years, it is very upsetting to see something like this,” said Sarah.
“It was my daughter’s friend’s brother and his son who first found the horse. They thought it was a cow asleep at first.
“It’s a disgusting, cowardly act and you wonder what sort of people would do such a thing. I have lived in this area for eight years and I have never seen anything like this.
“I just want to see the horse taken away now because it is starting to smell and it is not nice for people walking, particularly kids, to see that sort of thing.”
The RSPCA’s Sara Howlett confirmed that an inspection had taken place by one of the organisation’s officers.
“It was reported to us as an ‘improper killing’ this morning,” she said.
“Unfortunately these kinds of incidents are on the increase because it can cost a lot of money to have a horse put down.”
Derbyshire Police said they had been called three times about the incident and had made contact with Bolsover District Council, whose land the horse is thought to be on.
“It’s an environmental health issue and we have rung the member of the public back to let them know we have passed on their concerns to the council,” said a spokesman.
However, Bolsover District Council said they had yet to receive a report of the incident and have asked for it to be reported to them on 01246 242424.
“A spokesman said: “If the horse is on private land, then there is nothing we can do, but if it is found to be on council land, then our environmental health officers will take action.”