‘Don’t feed other people’s animals’ – warning after New Forest pony taken ill

Luna (left), seen here with Sally’s other horse Aniseed, is now back to full health

A HORSE owner is urging the public not to feed other people’s livestock after her filly was taken ill from eating bread thrown into her field.


Sally Strugnell told the A&T that it was lucky she was there when two-year-old Luna become unwell as she could have died without prompt attention from the vet.

The bread chucked into her field in Cadnam left her in “terrible pain” and she had to be sedated to undergo treatment.

The incident earlier this month prompted Sally to speak out as she believes many people are ignorant of horse welfare.

Fortunately her pony is now well again and she has put up warning signs and CCTV at her field.

Sally said: “Bread is of no use to ponies and it causes impaction colic – basically, really bad constipation. In some cases it can even cause the bowel to rupture. It’s incredibly dangerous.”

She said she was “horrified” when she learned the cause of the colic was from bread and added: “I had no idea someone was feeding her. My advice to people is to leave well alone. Nobody should be offering food to someone else’s animals.

“If I waked around the village giving meat to people’s dogs the owners would be quite rightly outraged by it. This is just the same.”

Turning to the wider issue of the public feeding wild horses she added: “People seem to regard ponies as almost universal property and the New Forest is being turned into a petting zoo, with people feeding them or trying to put children on their backs for a photo.”

She added that anyone worried about an animal’s weight or appearance in the wild should contact the Agisters, rather than feed them.

She suggested leaving a note on a gate for the owner of a horse in a field if there are concerns about its welfare.

As reported in the A&T, the dumping of garden waste and hundreds of apples have sparked a string of warnings recently about not feeding animals in the New Forest.