The public were warned against feeding horses and cattle when walking through the countryside after a pony choked to death after eating raw potato peels.
Concerns have been raised with many horse owners and ranchers and some members of the public feeding the animals they discover in the field.
While the intention to feed a horse or sheep is done with friendly intent, the Countryside Alliance warns that it can be “incredibly dangerous and even deadly”.
Just last week, a 12-year-old pony named Lightning died of suffocation after eating raw potato skins.
The Welsh Section A pony hit a fence in panic on Sunday January 17th and died moments later.
Lightning had raw potatoes stuck in his throat and despite having a “Do not feed the horses” sign on the spot, the owner believes he was fed by walkers who ignored the warnings.
The owner is understandably devastated and has publicly stated that she wants to make sure that no other owner has to go through her pain.
Polly Portwin, horseback enthusiast and spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance, gave her opinion on whether or not people should feed horses or cattle.
“As a general rule, unless you know the horse and its dietary needs, you shouldn’t be feeding other people’s horses full load,” she said.
“Sadly, we hear very distressing stories of horses made incredibly sick and dying from being fed the wrong food by walkers who meet a horse in the field.
“It might be easy to assume that horses can consume and digest a lot of the same foods that humans or other animals enjoy, but that’s just not the case.”
Dietary considerations aside, she said it’s well known that a horse’s behavior changes incredibly quickly, especially around food.
Competition to get to the food and source can sometimes cause some horses to react aggressively to other horses around them.
Ms Portwin said it could put the person feeding them and those accompanying them, such as children or dogs, in a vulnerable position.
“It is important to remember that cattle and horses are part of people’s livelihoods and although, where permitted, they can be admired from a safe distance, passers-by should avoid offering them food. . “